Out of Sight tells the story of the unlikely relationship that forms between an FBI agent and a career criminal. After Jack Foley (George Clooney) escapes from jail with the help of his partner, Buddy Bragg (Ving Rhames), he takes Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez), a sexy federal agent, hostage. Immediately sparks fly between the two. Eventually they let her go and leave Miami behind, heading directly for Detroit, where they plan to rob a former cellmate of theirs, a wealthy, white-collar criminal (Albert Brooks). When Karen finally locates Foley, a passionate encounter unfurls. As Foley zeroes in on his target, Karen must decide which side she's on.
After the success of Get Shorty the producing team of Danny de Vito, Michael Shamburg and Stacey Sher once again bring us an adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel. Out of Sight stars George Clooney as Jack Foley, a serial bank robber who's facing 30 years' gaol for his latest effort, Jennifer Lopez as Karen Sisco, a Federal Marshall and Ving Rhames as Jack's mate Buddy who does what all good mates do – help in a crisis, and Jack's attempt to spring himself from prison ends up as a crisis.
Apart from the sizzlingly romantic centre of the story the film is brimful of typical Leonard characters who are terribly funny and usually incompetent. Catherine Keener plays Jack's ex-wife, Albert Brooks is a billionaire who's serving three years for insider trading who unwisely talks about his stash of uncut diamonds to the wrong people, Steve Zahn is a getaway driver of alarming incompetence and unreliability and Don Cheadle is an ex-con who's a rival for the diamond stash. Steven Soderbergh may not be the director who would instantly spring to mind to handle this sort of story, but he does an amazingly good job, allowing the film to rest on its characters and dealing with shifting time-frames with intelligence and great style.
George Clooney sleazes down beautifully. After his less than spectacular transfer from the small screen to the large, this is a role that will enhance his reputation enormously. Because at its heart Out of Sight is a love story and Clooney makes us believe in the irrational and dangerous attraction he feels towards Karen. Jennifer Lopez provides a good enough reason. Out of Sight is funny, thrilling and romantic. It's such a pleasure seeing a film like this.
Watch 'Out of Sight'
Thursday 1 October, 9:30pm on SBS World Movies (no catch-up at SBS On Demand)
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Crime
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, George Clooney, Catherine Keener, Ving Rhames, Albert Brooks