4 out of 10
5 out of 10
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Stephen Dorff as Slim
Natasha Henstridge as Karen
Bruce Payne as Lt. Macgruder
Steven Berkoff as Surtayne
Clé Bennett as Otis
Karen Cliche as Alex
Steven McCarthy as Frank
Alain Goulem as Lou Pandelis
Andreas Apergis as Nixdorfer
Steal: Behind The Action
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 84 Minutes
This film was originally released in 2002 under the name “Riders”. The following is from the DVD cover:
“Sexy Natasha Henstridge (THE WHOLE TEN YARDS, SPECIES I, II, III) and Stephen Dorff (COLD CREEK MANOR, FEARDOTCOM) send sparks flying in this action-packed thriller! Slim (Dorff) is a charismatic thief leading a notorious team of adrenaline junkies who utilize their extreme sports skills to escape capture. Under pressure from the mob and a crooked cop who wants a piece of the action, they set out on one final set of high-risk heists that will net them a cool $20 million. But what Slim doesn’t know is that his beautiful new girlfriend (Henstridge) is a detective whose job is to bring down his gang!”
Steal is rated R for language, some violence and sexuality.
I’ll give Steal this – it’s certainly a great looking movie. Every scene is beautifully shot and they seemed to put every dollar on the screen. Some of the shots look like they could have come from any American big budget film. From a helicopter flying through downtown to an 18-wheeler driving on one set of wheels to elaborate stunts, it’s some pretty impressive stuff. Director Gérard Pirès did a first rate job.
That being said, the script isn’t that great. The plot is rather unrealistic, the villains are terrible, and the character’s reactions to situations aren’t believable. For example, in one scene a character dies a violent death. A few hours later everyone is laughing and joking and plotting to steal again…despite the fact that the corpse of their friend is in the other room. And every single cop or guard in the movie is portrayed as an idiot. Particularly noteworthy is a bad performance by Bruce Payne as Lt. Macgruder. His cop character repeatedly makes sexist comments, gives obviously questionable orders, and does a lot of stupid and unrealistic things (which I won’t spoil here). About the only thing this movie has going for it is the gimmick of tying extreme sports to robberies, and even that has been done before in Point Break.
The acting is all over the map. Stephen Dorff is decent as Slim, the charismatic leader of the gang. Natasha Henstridge is beautiful as Karen, but her character’s potential is never lived up to. She has no real impact on the story. Karen Cliche is sexy as Alex, but she makes no real impact with her character, either. Everyone else is simply mediocre.
The stunts are an interesting mix of live action and weak CGI. For example, the thieves do a lot of roller blade tricks, then we are treated to a CG skater jumping off a stair, rebounding off a moving bus, onto the hood of a moving car. A CG base jumper is also shown later on. The CG was unnecessary and I think I was more impressed with the live action tricks.
Who should check out Steal? Anyone that is a fan of Stephen Dorff or Natasha Henstridge. If you’re into mindless action flicks, you’ll probably enjoy it, too. But if you like logic, realism, or a coherent plot in your movies, pass on Steal.
There’s only one bonus feature on this DVD and it’s “Steal: Behind The Action”. It’s your standard “making of” featurette showing interviews with the cast and crew, behind the scenes footage, and more. It’s very brief.
The Bottom Line:
Steal is a great looking film, but a weak plot and a lack of a strong cast hurt it. You may do better to pass on it.