Shooting Fish

Two orphaned boys, Dylan and Jez (Dan Futterman and Stuart Townsend), are roaming the streets of London and pursuing part-time work when they chance to meet each other and develop a scam that surpasses all their previous ones with the ultimate objective of buying a mansion and living their lives happily ever after.
(c)copyright: Polygram Filmed Entertainment
Dylan is quick talking and Jez is quick thinking, so they would appear to be the perfect couple. Along the way, they develop a meaningful relationship with a girl named Georgie (Kate Beckinsale) whom they originally hired as a typist to assist them in their work. A doctor in training, she has enough intelligence to suspect something illegal and immoral is afoot, but, luckily, can be easily assured this is not the case through the manipulative boys' word of honor (which she readily accepts). Well, why not? One is an attractive, clean cut, spotless, slick, smiling, dyslexic American (just the type to trust?) and the other is a shy, awkward, sensitive, Beatle-haired, computer-savvy Irishman. And so this modern day Jules and Jim trio frolic their way through town and country as the boys rip off everyone they can and the girl's distrust slowly evolves into love. Georgie admires the boys' dedication to accumulating a fortune which will be donated to bettering the lives of needy orphans. Just a bunch of laughs. If only the film followed suit. The one clever twist in the tale occurs when their car is broken into and they wreak revenge on the culprit by setting him up and turning the tables on him. The rest of the movie is sadly an obvious attempt to be too clever by half and hope that the audience will fall in love with the cute little characters.

Nickolas Grace as Mr. Stratton-Luce seems to have fallen from, for those who remember his impressive performance many years ago in TV's "Brideshead Revisited". Annette Crosby of TV's "One Foot in the Grave" fleetingly appears (as if she were only there for her name to be used on the cast list) and then disappears into her home again (hopefully setting tea for Victor). The three leads, attractive and talented, do a competent job in a boring escapade.

The title could more aptly be changed for American release into "Sitting Ducks" and the audience might be better off shooting themselves beforehand.

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett