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'High Heels and Low Lifes'

'High Heels and Low Lifes' is too little, too late

Friday, October 26, 2001

By Barry Paris, Post-Gazette Movie Critic

Stumbling across a London bank robbery-in-progress, Shannon and Frances do what any good citizens would do: Plot how to exploit the situation for themselves and under no circumstances notify the police.

'High Heels And Low Lifes'

RATING: R for language, some violence and nudity

PLAYERS: Minnie Driver, Mary McCormack




The heels in "High Heels and Low Lifes" belong to Minnie Driver as Shannon, a no-nonsense nurse, and Mary McCormack as her Yankee pal Frances, a ditzy blonde actress with the ability to mimic anybody's voice. The low lifes are Mason (Kevin McNally) and Kerrigan (Michael Gambon), criminal masterminds who -- having pulled off a very sophisticated heist -- now have their success threatened by two harebrained females.

Our thrill-starved heroines carpe their diem in a wacky round of extortions, drop-offs, double-crosses, shootouts and ambushes, filmed in and around London's hip new Hoxton, Hackney and Hatton Gardens (not to be confused with Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire).

Hmmm ... a hybrid: A British screwball chick action comedy and chase thriller? But never quite as hilarious or thrilling as director Mel Smith would like it to be.

Ever so slightly cross-eyed, Minnie Driver ("Good Will Hunting," "An Ideal Husband") is as good and gorgeous as ever. McCor-mack's OK. They have a nice, mildly amusing relationship, but the convention of two bickersome crime partners is slightly older than the wheel and getting more tiresome by the century.

Everybody else in the film is cardboard competent; nobody'd ever mistake Herman Mankiewicz as the author of this script. "High Heels and Low Lifes" is a hit-and-mystery caper in which the girls are too clever by one-and-a-half.

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