Bullet Points: Steal
In this installment of Bullet Points I’m going to take a look at the Stephen Dorff/Natasha Henstridge film, Steal aka Riders. I have expressed my alternate title pet peeve before but it is amazing how many movies have alternate titles… usually of the direct to video variety.
- The Premise: A team of 4 extreme sports enthusiasts are also thieves and they incorporate their rollerblading, base jumping and other extreme skills into pulling off some impressive heists. We see them rob a bank in the first few minutes of the movie, they then move on to an armored car hijacking and that’s when things take a turn. They end up with some bearer bonds that belong to some bad people, their newsworthy jobs grab the attention of a mysterious man who blackmails them into working for him and as you may imagine the cops are after them too.
- Meet the Team: Our extreme team of cons are led by Slim (Stephen Dorff), then there’s Slim’s ex-girlfriend Alex, Frank and Otis. Alex is played by Karen Cliche but the Frank and Otis characters are the real cliches in this film. Zing!
- That Escalated Quickly: We are introduced to Natasha Henstridge’s character, Karen, when Slim and Alex bump into her on the street as she’s moving in to her new place. Slim bumps into Karen again at some rock wall climbing place, not once but twice… and after that second encounter at the rock wall climbing place, the two end up in a steamy sex scene in the sauna. Get it? Steamy? …Anyway, it basically paints Karen as one of the most desperate or horny women in movie history. Their whole relationship made me think of one of my favorite Seinfeld quotes, “People don’t just bump into each other and have sex. This isn’t Cinemax.”
- You May Remember Them From: Bruce Payne plays the cop in charge of catching the extreme team of thieves. You may remember Bruce from Passenger 57 and Highlander: End Game. The dude looking to get his bearer bonds back from Slim and the crew was played by Steven Berkoff of Rambo: First Blood Part 2 and Octopussy fame. And of course there is the lovely Natasha Henstridge who you may remember as Alex Minetti in Maximum Risk and another film I reviewed a while back, Adrenalin: Fear the Rush.
Steal is one of those movies in the range just above a “What Not To Watch” movie. I didn’t hate it, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend it to anyone either. It could have been better, but it could have been worse.
If you choose to watch this one, here’s a few things to look for…
- Favorite Death: At one point, Slim and his team are forced to work with Jerry (he works for the mysterious man I mentioned earlier). I know it is a spoiler but Jerry won’t be back for the sequel. His death in this movie could best be described as a live action Wile E. Coyote death.
- Sexual Harassment: Karen (Natasha Henstridge) doesn’t have much luck with men… well she gets lucky with Slim, but we find out she’s a cop and he is obviously a thief, so that’s not going to be a healthy relationship. But then on her first day on the job, Lt. Macgruder admits to everyone at a police briefing that Karen is giving him a hard on. If this movie was made in 1972, maybe even in 1982, I wouldn’t be shocked if that was something women in the work place had to deal with. But a movie made in 2002… a line like that is a human resources nightmare!
- Stunt Drivers?: As I mentioned earlier, the team is into extreme sports and all of them would likely be classified as adrenaline junkies. But none of that would provide them the skills to drive the semi-truck the way they drive it in this movie. Or maybe I’m way off here… I’ll admit I don’t keep up with the X Games too much, maybe there is a stunt driving competition.