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The Biggest Robbery Never Told

Daniel Monzon's "The Biggest Robbery Never Told," is a heist comedy with more gags per meter than a bank robber's boudoir, most of which fail. Characters are better thought-out than usual, the look-at-me visuals are interesting, and helmer's imagination throws up the occasional memorable moment. But ultimately this is just for the home crowd.

With:
With: Antonio Resines, Neus Asensi, Manuel Manquina, Javier Aller, Jaime Barnatan, Santo Gracia .

Director Daniel Monzon’s sophomore effort, “The Biggest Robbery Never Told,” is a breathlessly over-the-top heist comedy with more gags per meter than a bank robber’s boudoir, most of which fail. Characters are better thought-out than usual, the look-at-me visuals are always interesting, and helmer’s comic-strip imagination throws up the occasional memorable moment. But ultimately this is just for the home crowd.

Over-long prelims see petty thief Santo (dependable Antonio Resines) released from jail, still burning to pull off a big robbery. He gets together with religious street bum Zorba (Manuel Manquina), circus midget Pinito (Javier Aller) and computer nerd Windows (Jaime Barnatan), jailed for switching out all the lights in Madrid. In true heist movie style, the back-stories are given in detail, deepening interest in characters but at the price of dramatic payoffs. With the help of middleman Deep Throat (Santo Gracia), the incompetent gang plans to steal Picasso’s painting “Guernica” from an art gallery. Pic improves around halfway with the lengthy robbery sequence, and there’s a spectacular final scene in Madrid airport, but by then there have been too many gags about smoke detectors and farting.

The Biggest Robbery Never Told

Spain

Production: A Lolafilms Distribucion release of a Lolafilms production, in association with Antena 3, Via Digital. (International sales: Lolafilms, Madrid.) Produced by Andres Vicente Gomez. Directed, written by Daniel Monzon.

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen), Carles Gusi; editor, Ivan Aledo; music, Roque Banos; art director, Anton Laguna. Reviewed at Renoir Plaza de Espana, Madrid, Nov. 18, 2002. Running time: 115 MIN.

With: With: Antonio Resines, Neus Asensi, Manuel Manquina, Javier Aller, Jaime Barnatan, Santo Gracia .

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