Kevin, Sam and Rob have an unusual hobby: planning foolproof heists, without intending to actually perform them. The game goes wrong when their latest plan is stolen and carried out. Things get even worse when a mysterious man approaches them with an offer: plan a heist for him, or go to jail. As the clock ticks, they find that the risk might be higher than just their freedom.
Man, Ryan Reynolds really knows his audience. If you haven’t seen his newly launched streaming service, go check it out. There you can watch Foolproof, and only Foolproof, for free. This is a heist movie from the early-2000s, so I know what you’re thinking. And yes, Foolproof was probably trying to ride off the success of Ocean’s Eleven. But aside from also being a heist movie, Foolproof isn’t really all that similar. The cast of characters is much smaller and written pretty differently, the plot is less complex, and the writing puts more of a focus on comedy.
So, this heist group is only made up of 3 partners. They get a few tagalongs once the plot starts unfolding, but these core 3 form the main group. The key difference between these 3 and most other heist movie characters is that they’re not accomplished criminals. Up until this point, the whole heist planning thing was literally a game for them. These aren’t hardened criminals, they’re people working white-collar jobs. But that just leaves room for some fantastic character development as the story unfolds. Instead of saying “here’s the character, the movie is about the plot”, Foolproof is more about how these normal people with a weird hobby respond to an extreme situation.
That being said, the stakes didn’t feel quite as high as in many other heist films. Or at least different. Being caught during their heist is clearly a threat and there are some suspicious police officers who start poking around after a little while too. But the main threat is Leo, the criminal blackmailing the group. If they get caught, they could land in jail, but Leo seems more likely to just straight-up murder them. And the level of that threat fluctuates as they get to know Leo and see more of him as a person, only for an occasional reminder that he is absolutely ruthless.
While I wouldn’t classify Foolproof as a comedy, the comedic elements are definitely there. Which is pretty much what makes many of Ryan Reynolds’ best movies work. Not that he can’t do non-comedy, he can, but comedy is where he shines. God, I’d love to see some kind of comedy “Vs.” movie that pits him against Chris Pratt. Anyway, the funny elements are mainly restricted to a quick jab here and there. And it works well to break up the tension in an otherwise purely action-thriller story.
Overall, this is a decent movie. Not amazing, but entertaining and certainly worth the running time. Especially since it can be watched for free.