Combustible Celluloid
With: Jason Segel, Lily Collins, Jesse Plemons, Omar Leyva
Written by: Justin Lader, Andrew Kevin Walker, based on a story by Charlie McDowell, Jason Segel, Justin Lader, Andrew Kevin Walker
Directed by: Charlie McDowell
MPAA Rating: R for language throughout and some violence
Running Time: 92
Date: 03/18/2022

Windfall (2022)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Sweaty Thief

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This neo-noir from Charlie McDowell — the son of Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen — echoes Hitchcock and Chinatown, but is on a decidedly smaller scale. It's so slight that the actors have to do their best to convince us that this ludicrous situation is actually happening, but fortunately, Jason Segel, Lily Collins, Jesse Plemons (as well as a fourth actor, Omar Leyva) are good enough to do just that. At one point Plemons's character flat-out admits: "I've been helping you rob us!" And we can only laugh along. Segel plays an unnamed thief who tries to rob the vacation home of a tech millionaire (Plemons) and his wife (Collins). When he's caught, he makes them cough up a half-million dollars so he can escape. Unfortunately, that takes two days, so the three of them simply hang out and have tense conversations with Segel occasionally pointing a gun at them. (At one point, they all watch John Landis's Three Amigos together.) Windfall is certainly not Hitchcock-great, but it's painless.

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