With the recent movie PUBLIC ENEMIES making the rounds in the theaters, I thought it would be prudent to review another “heist movie” that does a much better job of telling a character-driven story with heart than Michael Mann did. SKILLS LIKE THIS is about Max Solomon, a writer that just isn’t very good at what he does. One day, while chatting with his friends he decides to rob a bank on whim, and finds out that he has a gift for theft! What transpires over the course of the movie is a love affair with a girl who works as a teller at the bank he robbed, a bungled attempt by his friends to help him, and Max finding his way through life. With SKILLS LIKE THIS, you can’t go wrong.
This movie is shot well, using creative camera angles and fluid movement to follow the character as he runs around town pulling caper after caper. The characters are believable, fully realized, and well acted. (Spencer Berger, who also wrote this movie does a great job playing Max). The story moves along nicely, never leaving you bored or distracted. At the end you really do want Max to get the girl, and succeed. Max is certainly living out the id fantasies that a lot of us go through, but in a real Robin Hood manner. One scene has him robbing a convenience store and giving the money he robs to the kid next to him in line so he can buy what he wants. He never hurts anybody in his robberies, unlike some of the gun-toting maniacs seen in other movies.
In a time where big shots like Johnny Depp are getting all the press for his bank robbery flick, give this movie a chance and be prepared to be surprised by how much better this indie gem can be than the multi-million dollar waste of time that was PUBLIC ENEMIES.
This flick has the skills to keep me entertained throughout the movie, and leave me wanting to see what the next chapter in Max’s life leads him to. Enjoy this fun thrill ride that actually makes robbing banks look like fun!
SKILLS LIKE THIS Review
FILM SYNOPSIS - Max Solomon faces the awful truth that he will never be a writer. So, in a desperate attempt to find his true calling, he turns to crime. In this inventive comedy, three friends have their lives turned upside down when one of them realizes that larceny might be his best skill.