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Vinci

Polish caper pic "Vinci," in which thieves plot to purloin a Leonardo da Vinci painting, is no masterpiece, but it forges zippy, mainstream entertainment from by-the-numbers elements. Veteran helmer Juliusz Machulski mixes a few gimmicks from Hollywood heisters with plenty of Polish-specific gags and references.

With:
With: Borys Szyc, Robert Wieckiewicz, Jan Machulski, Kamilla Baar, Marcin Dorocinski, Lukasz Simlat, Mieczyslaw Grabka.

Polish caper pic “Vinci,” in which thieves plot to purloin a Leonardo da Vinci painting, is no masterpiece, but it forges zippy, mainstream entertainment from by-the-numbers elements. Veteran crime and comedy helmer Juliusz Machulski (“Killer,” “Superproduction”) mixes a few gimmicks from Hollywood heisters like “The Score” and the new “Italian Job” with plenty of Polish-specific gags and references. Local B.O. figures this fall were pretty enough to hang on a wall, but international auds won’t gaze with such rapt admiration.

Inveterate thief Cuma (Robert Wieckiewicz), on parole from prison, uses a once-in-a-lifetime chance to swipe the national treasure, Da Vinci’s “Lady With an Ermine,” for a wealthy collector. Cuma’s former partner, Julian (Borys Szyc), isn’t keen at first to help out — given he’s become a cop — but finally does. Rest of the gang includes forgers Magda (Kamilla Baar) and Hagen (Jan Machulski), and a docile getaway driver (Lukasz Simlat) whose brain disorder prevents him from recognizing faces, which makes him incapable of betrayal. Pic gets bogged down with crime mechanics in the middle act, but the climax delivers. Tech credits are efficient.

Vinci

Poland

Production: A Studio Filmowe Zebra production, in association with Canal Plus Poland, ITI Film Studio, TVN, WFDiF. (International sales: Zebra, Warsaw.) Produced, directed, written by Juliusz Machulski.

Crew: Camera (color), Edward Klosinski; editor, Jaroslaw Pietraszek; music, Maciej Staniecki; production designer, Monika Sajko-Gradowska; costume designer, Ewa Machulska. Reviewed at Warsaw Screenings, Oct. 16, 2004. Running time: 111 MIN.

With: With: Borys Szyc, Robert Wieckiewicz, Jan Machulski, Kamilla Baar, Marcin Dorocinski, Lukasz Simlat, Mieczyslaw Grabka.

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