By Marc S. Sanders
In 1998, Elmore Leonard’s best-selling novel, Out Of Sight, was adapted by director Steven Soderbergh, where Federal Marshall Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez) falls in lust with Bank Robber Jack Foley (George Clooney), which leads to ridiculous, albeit logical set ups as a high stakes diamond heist is planned along the way.
I know years after Steven Soderbergh’s film was released an ABC tv series based on the Sisco character was produced. That was a misfire. Simply because the beautiful, sexy and most importantly under appreciated and intuitive portrayal that Lopez mastered was a role that could have led to another great film franchise of sequels to come. Carla Gugino played author Leonard’s heroine in the tv show. If you are saying “Carla who?” then ‘Nuff said. Sisco belongs to Jennifer Lopez.
Lopez and Clooney have great chemistry amid gorgeous cinematography on location in sun filled Miami and snow blanketed Detroit. Soderbergh shoots a great scene midway through where the two characters, on opposite sides of the law, throw caution out the door as they seduce each other in front of a hotel window view boasting beautiful midnight blue sprinkled with falling snow. It is one cool and very hot scene.
Sisco is always a step ahead of Foley. Her problem arises when after being held hostage by him in the trunk of her car following his escape from prison…well, she just can’t resist him.
My apologies. Out Of Sight is a far better film than I could describe here thanks also to a boastful cast featuring Dennis Farina, Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle (how many films has he done with Clooney?), Steve Zahn, Albert Brooks (simply great as a hairpiece wearing white collar criminal), Michael Keaton (two Batmans in a film for the price of one) and finally a master of cameos reserved for a smirk inducing final scene. Make an educated guess of who I could be talking about.
Lopez and Clooney should have done more films together over the years. They are as classic a couple as Tracey & Hepburn, Beatty & Dunaway, Hanks & Ryan or Gere & Roberts.
This was a gem of a movie I mistakenly found boring when I saw it in theatres. What was I thinking? On a second viewing, 20 years later, I laughed, smiled and just couldn’t take my eyes off it. It’s just great fun.
Without Out Of Sight, Soderbergh, Clooney and Company would probably never have made an Ocean’s 11. Check out what became before their more successful collaborations to come.