If there was a genre of film entitled ”Mediocre Heist Films”, “The Code” would be on the top of the list without a shadow of a doubt. Unfortunately, there is not a genre of that nature so “The Code” gets put towards the bottom of the list of ‘Heist Films’. Now don’t get me wrong, the film isn’t the worst film I’ve ever seen, the problem is that it is very forgettable.
“The Code” is the story of Keith Ripley (Morgan Freeman), a thief who is arguably the best in the game. Keith is in debt to the Russian mob, so he has to pull off one last big heist to pay them back. He recruits Gabriel Martin (Antonio Banderas), a thief who is young in the game with a promising track record. All this is happening while the FBI is trying to arrest Keith, the proverbial white whale. This film is full of twist and turns like most other heist films. Some are pretty predictable, while others will catch you by surprise.
“The Code” is directed by Mimi Leder. You may remember that name from films such as ”Deep Impact” and “Pay It forward”. Although this film is not even close to either one of those films, she does a great job on it. “The Code” may not be the best film, but cinematically, it’s really well done. A lot of transitions are used, which I’m totally a sucker for. What can I say it’s my cross to bear.
The acting in the film is good. Morgan Freeman and Antonio Banderas alongside some other really great actors and actresses. Part of me really didn’t see Antonio Banderas as a heist man, breaking into vaults, but he seemed to play the part well.
Speaking of breaking into vaults, now I get the concept of product placement in films. Okay I’ll put your product in there and you pay me money. It’s a win-win situation, but “The Code” has some of the most laughable product placements I have ever seen in a film. While Freeman and Banderas are about to rob the vault towards the climax of the film, they pull out an iPhone and open up an app that tells them where the infrared lasers are, and tells them what pattern the lasers are moving in. Apparently there really is an app for everything!
What it boils down to is this: the film is average at best. There are some good action sequences and some scenes are fun to watch, but all in all the film lacks. If you got ninety minutes to kill and you’re a big fan of heist films, then this might be right up your alley. Otherwise, there really is no reason to watch this. Basically what I’m trying to say is “The Code” is proof that big names can’t make a lackluster plot and story enjoyable to watch.
Mimi Leder (director) / Ted Humphrey (screenplay)
CAST: Morgan Freeman … Keith Ripley
Antonio Banderas … Gabriel Martin
Radha Mitchell … Alexandra Korolenko
Robert Forster … Lt. Weber
Rade Serbedzija … Nicky / Victor
Michael Hayden … Sudimack
Marcel Iures … Zykov
Gary Werntz … Donley