Movies about The Money are always about Trust, too, and the unofficial theme song of the heist thriller is Bob Dylan’s Absolutely Sweet Marie:
Well, six white horses that you did promise
Were fin’lly delivered down to the penitentiary
But to live outside the law, you must be honest
I know you always say that you agree
But where are you tonight, sweet Marie?
The double-cross isn’t just a staple of the gangster film, it’s built into its DNA in a way that few screenwriters seem to be able to resist. Therefore, it’s a pleasure to see criminals who don’t screw each other over for the loot. For a movie that got attacked for its perceived cynicism, The Ice Harvest put a particularly nice spin on the problem, and Bound surprised us in this regard, too.
You see, trust becomes the central problem in the developing love affair between Gina Gershon and gangster moll Jennifer Tilly when mobster Joe Pantoliano steals a bunch of money, they steal it from him, somebody gets shot, and so forth. A tight, sexy, and violent chamber play, the first feature by the Wachowski brothers has enough clever moments and directorial flourishes to stay entertaining while it lasts. In the long run though, I don’t expect to remember much aside from what the poster rightfully promised: fetishistic images of women in black leather, all tied up.
Bound. Andy and Larry Wachowski, 1996. ***