We gave it a B
When we last checked in with David Mamet, he was happily roasting Tinseltown on a spit in ”State and Main”. But with ”Heist,” the hard-boiled writer-director returns to those byzantine cons and double-crossing tough guys he mined in ”House of Games,” ”Glengarry Glen Ross,” and ”The Spanish Prisoner.”
Hackman stars as the world-weary leader of a posse of thieves who are forced by their fence (DeVito) into one last job — stealing a haul of gold bullion. But not all of his partners (who include Lindo, Pidgeon, and Mamet mainstay Ricky Jay) are on the up-and-up. ”It’s all these twists and turns and suspense in finding out how they will all betray each other,” says Mamet’s wife, Pidgeon, who, after ”State and Main” and ”The Spanish Prisoner,” is more than familiar with the signature rhythms of Mamet-speak.
It was the very same staccato dialogue that was one of the attractions for Lindo, a Mamet newcomer. ”David writes in a sort of shorthand where the lines don’t always mean what the words say,” he explains. ”It’s all subtext.” As for whether Hackman — another Mamet virgin — had trouble adapting to the rat-a-tat-tat readings, Pidgeon says, ”I don’t know that any acting is difficult for Gene Hackman.”