BBC2: PREMIERE Friday 25 December, 11.50pm
Art curator Colin Firth comes up with a plan to get back at deplorable boss Alan Rickman. The con involves art forger Tom Courtenay and Texas rodeo rider Cameron Diaz. The Coen brothers tossed off the script for this remake of Sidney Carroll’s caper, previously filmed in the mid-60s with Michael Caine, but they didn’t direct it.
That’s left to the notably inconsistent Michael Hoffman (Restless Natives and Promised Land in the 80s, Soapdish and One Fine Day in the 90s). The cheap animation of the opening titles, which makes Firth look like Clark Kent, sets the pony tone. The original was an agreeable diversion, though no classic. This broadly played version is barely a diversion. Firth’s funniest line is a number: 318. Context is everything. Otherwise, it’s all about as hilarious as Monet’s haystacks. Dawn or dusk.
Rotten Tomatoes – Gambit