Welcome To Collinwood
The doofus-on-the-loose banter of Welcome to Collinwood has a cocky, after-hours loopiness to it. And as with most late-night bull sessions, eventually the content isn’t nearly as captivating as the rowdy participants think it is. The extended joke in this remake of the 1958 Italian crackpot-criminal comedy ”Big Deal on Madonna Street” (now set in the working-class Cleveland neighborhood of Collinwood) is that a bunch of colorful losers can’t possibly pull off the safe heist they think they can. But excitement trumps incompetence as one colorful loser recruits another. Pretty soon, the screen is filled with hip actors playing clueless lowlifes, pretending they’re in a Bizarro World production of ”Ocean’s Eleven.”
Which is no accident, since the movie, written and directed by Cleveland-bred brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, was shepherded by ”Ocean’s” producing partners Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney. Clooney takes a small, frat-skit role as a grimy safecracker in a wheelchair, Sam Rockwell plays a lousy boxer, William H. Macy does a variation on his cautious-sadsack persona as a hapless photographer, and, most strenuously antic of all, Michael Jeter dives bare-butt-first into the role of an unwashed, washed-up, small-time thief. Collinwood was apparently a fun place for these dudes to live in, but I wouldn’t want to be their neighbor.