‘Flypaper’ review: a chaotic, twisty take on a bank heist

Writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, off their foggy, I-have-no-clue-what-we-did-last-night-but-where-the-heck’s-my-tooth buddy caper The Hangover, teamed up for this largely (and not surprisingly) over-the-top take on a bank heist. The robbery, as most of them come, goes in the wrong direction very quickly. Director Rob Minkoff (The Lion KingStuart Little), with cinematographer Steven Poster, strays as far as a bullet gone astray from his Disney outings and comes up with a pacey comic diatribe that doesn’t ever pause for breath. 

Ashley Judd is good, even if a wee bit detached.

As Tripp (a superb Patrick Dempsey with superb hair) falls for a (very much engaged, thank you) teller Kaitlin (Ashley Judd, slightly unaffected) inside the bank where he’s gone for uh…I’ve forgotten why. It don’t matter. The movie’s premise is the bank and promising: two sets of criminals land up to rob it. One batch’s the pro, a la The Die Hard Academy of Weaponry and Prep — Darrien (Mekhi Phifer), Gates (Matt Ryan), and Weinstein (John Ventimiglia). The other, louder, obnoxious team comprises Peanut Butter (Tim Blake Nelson) and Jelly (Pruitt Taylor Vince). And the mathematical savant Tripp becomes, willingly, the center of brevity between these two obverse forces. There’s also the ever-entertaining Octavia Spencer as a counterfoil teller to that of Judd’s mild-mannered take. And as things begin to go awry inside the bank, it’s clear that the entire scenario is a setup as hostages begin to die, almost as if selectively and mysteriously marked by someone. 

Patrick Dempsey’s the man with the golden (hair) bun.

Flypaper is as mixed a bag as they come. Trying to combine Guy Ritchie’s box-office bull’s eye for Indies and the Sherlock Holmes-Hercule Poirot genre of twist and manipulation, how you wish director Minkoff had faithfully stuck to that mixed genre. The humor, at times cringe-worthy crass, tries to over shout the guns blazing in all their rat-a-tat glory, and that’s the movie’s biggest failing. And yet — if you can survive its jokes — there are some fun-laden twists that pretty much coast the movie through its 87-minute sprint. This is one stick-‘em-up that you just may end sticking around — if not up — for. 

Flypaper (2011) on IMDb Movie data powered by IMDb. All images owned by the producers.

Flypaper is rated A (For adults only) for violence, cuss words.
Director Rob Minkoff Time 1h 27min
Writers Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Stars Patrick Dempsey, Ashley Judd
Genres Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Watch the trailer of Flypaper here.