Henry’s Crime (Blu-ray)
Sometimes you see a movie that takes you so totally by surprise that you’re not even sure what you just saw. From the very beginning HENRY’S CRIME is a different take on the bank heist genre. Top it off with surprisingly nuanced performances and you’re in for a pretty fun ride. It’s important to recognize right here – this may be one of Keanu Reeves’ (THE MATRIX, CONSTANTINE) best performances. Besides having a pretty tight script, his stoic/mannequin-ish style works because it really IS the character. Henry is the first character that I’ve seen Reeves’ play who I completely believed he could be.
HENRY’S CRIME is the story of Henry Torne (Reeves). Henry is a regular guy whose life has hit a rut. One morning an acquaintance from high school shows up at his house. One of the members of his “softball team” is sick. All he wants is for Henry to come play softball with them… in November… at 8 am… Henry agrees and drives the group into town, where they ask him to wait while they run inside to get some cash. SURPRISE! They’re actually going to rob the bank. And when they run, Henry is left in the getaway car without an alibi.
Instead of explaining his situation to the cops, lawyers, or judge, Henry decides to remain silent, and he is sentenced to 2 years in prison. His wife leaves him, he loses his job… but he suddenly feels free. His cellmate, Max (James Caan), is a lifer who inspires him to find a new direction. When Henry is paroled, he realizes what he wants more than anything is to actually rob the same bank for which he went to jail. As he begins to devise a plan, he realizes that he will need Max’s help, so he convinces him to try to get paroled as well. Bing-bang-boom… we’ve got a story on our hands.
To get into the bank Henry and Max have to get involved with a theatrical production next door. Max sees his chance when Henry starts to fall for the lead actress in the play, Julie Ivanova, played by Vera Farmiga (THE DEPARTED, UP IN THE AIR). Farmiga is great in this movie. A struggling actress who falls for Henry, she adds authenticity to the entire story. All the while Max, a “confidence man,” is working the theater and keeping the whole thing afloat. And Henry is now starring opposite her in the play. This is one of the interesting ways in which the movie plays – we get to see the play in rehearsal to performance – and the play mirrors what is happening to our main characters. It’s not an original idea but it is presented in a different way than I’ve seen before.
Filling out the cast are nice performances from supporting standouts Judy Greer (ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT), Bill Duke (PREDATOR), and Peter Stormare (FARGO). HENRY’S CRIME didn’t get a wide release in theaters. This is a shame, because it’s a fine film that could have found an audience given half a chance. The Blu-ray gets a similar treatment (or lack thereof) with a truly poor showing – there is literally nothing on this disc.
Video: (1080p, 2.35:1 Widescreen) The picture is crisp and clear bringing you right into the heart of chilly Buffalo.
Audio: (English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio) The sound is fine, nothing amazing. The best moments are the interplay between planning the bank heist/action and the play.