Shooting Fish

1997

Comedy / Crime / Romance

3
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 57% · 28 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 76% · 5K ratings
IMDb Rating 6.5/10 10 7861 7.9K

Top cast

Kate Beckinsale as Georgie
Ralph Ineson as Mr. Ray
Phyllis Logan as Mrs. Ross
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
99.09 MB
880*720
English 2.0
PG
25 fps
12 hr 10 min
Seeds 14
183.75 MB
704*576
English 2.0
PG
25 fps
12 hr 10 min
Seeds 26

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jhclues 7 / 10

Engaging Comedy from Stefan Schwartz

Take a couple of con men who see an opportunity to separate a mark from his money in just about everything, throw in an attractive young woman with an altruistic agenda, blend together for about ninety-three minutes and the result is `Shooting Fish,' an amiable, entertaining comedy, directed by Stefan Schwartz. It's the story of two guys who grew up in orphanages on opposite sides of the ocean, Dylan (Dan Futterman) in America, Jez (Stuart Townsend) in England; and who, by the time they had reached the age of consent, had each been endowed with a particular talent: Dylan has the gift of gab, Jez is a technical wizard. Dylan's gift has quickly gotten him into hot water with the wrong kind of people, however, and to stay healthy (read: `Alive') he flees to England, where he meets Jez. And it's a friendship/partnership born in scam/scheme heaven. If there's a way to make a fast buck, they know it-- from selling bogus computers, to selling insulation for homes that's never installed, to entering any and every contest that comes down the pike. If there's a nickel in it, they're in.

Then one day they hire a girl from the temp pool to help them out with one of their scams. Georgie (Kate Beckinsale) is beautiful, smart, and has a cause she's trying to fund, so she needs the job; but from day one she's on to what Dylan and Jez are trying to pull. She stays on board, however, when Dylan convinces her that they are something like modern day Robin Hoods-- that the money they're `raising' is going to orphans. What he doesn't tell her is that the `orphans' he's referring to is them. And Dylan is a born salesman-- not to mention the fact that he's a real charmer-- and the three of them become a real team.

Schwartz delivers a film that is in no way exceptional nor particularly memorable, but it is entertaining. It's exactly what it promises to be: a diverting hour and a half or so that provides some laughs and a good time. It's pleasant fare that's inoffensive and features some engaging performances and a story that will keep you involved. There are a couple of scenes, in fact, that are downright hilarious. And Schwartz has good timing and sets a pace that keeps it all moving right along, which, when you add it all up, makes for a satisfying, enjoyable experience.

Futterman has a winning personality and a resonant, mesmerizing voice that fits his character perfectly. Dylan is the salesman you hope you'll never meet, because if you do, chances are you'll walk away with the deed to the bridge. He's a likable heel, convincingly brought to life by Futterman (who is probably best known for his role of Vincent Gray in the `Judging Amy' TV series). It's a good performance, and one of the strengths of the film.

As Jez, Townsend does a fine job, too, and though he's overshadowed a bit by Dylan-- intentionally the flashier of the two-- Jez is the one who secures the sympathy of the audience. After all, this is the guy who at least seems a bit remorseful as he's taking other people's money and trust. And it's interesting to compare Townsend's fairly reserved performance here with his role of the vampire Lestat in the more recent `Queen of the Damned.' He's a fine young actor whose style contrasts nicely with Futterman, and along with Beckinsale they make quite the team of scam artists.

The one who draws the attention, however, is the lovely and charismatic Kate Beckinsale, who is beguiling in the role of Georgie. She makes her character accessible, and plays her with a savvy, rather than naive sensibility, and it's a portrayal that works well. Most importantly, she makes Georgie real, with a winsome appeal that makes you care about her and what happens to her. She's the most grounded of the trio, and it's her character that keeps the story within the realm of credibility. This may not be the stuff Oscars are made of, but it's an enjoyable, engaging performance that will win you over, without question.

The supporting cast includes Rowena Cooper (Jez's Teacher), Myles Anderson (Jez, aged 8), Jacob Macoby (Dylan, aged 8), Jane Lapotaire (Dylan's Headmistress), Tom Chadbon (Mr. Greenaway), Phyllis Logan (Mrs. Ross), Peter McNamara (Geoff), Arabella Weir (Mrs. Stratton-Luce), Nickolas Grace (Mr. Stratton-Luce) and Claire Cox (Floss). An easy-going comedy with enough twists and turns to keep you on your toes, `Shooting Fish' is a solid, feel good film that will put a smile on your face and provide a pleasant evening's entertainment. And in the final analysis, that's not such a bad deal; and it's all a part of the magic of the movies. I rate this one 7/10.

Reviewed by rmax304823 7 / 10

Likable and Amusing.

Daniel Futterman and Stuart Townsend are raised in an orphanage. They go on to a career as cheerful con men and thieves until reformed by the intervention of a good woman, Kate Bekinsale.

I had a feeling it would be a decent, low-key, but successful comedy when one of the orphans is being questioned about his plans for the future. What kind of house would he like to live in? The orphan comes up with a picture of a mansion. Condescending smile from the manager. "But that would cost hundreds of pounds and you're an orphan -- no offense -- and have nothing." "No offense." That piece of PC in a scene taking place in a scene from thirty years ago struck me as an artful touch.

I called it "low key" and that's not exactly the case, but neither is it a farce, with everyone shrieking and slipping on banana peels. It's more -- well, "believable" isn't quite the mot juste either. Let's say it adheres to "possibility" about as closely as "The Lavender Hill Mob." The cast work well together. Futterman is the smooth-talking con man half of the team. Townsend is the tinkerer who majored in "the psychology of electronics." He doesn't know how to fix a toaster but he knows how they feel when they break.

Futterman, an American, looks the part. He has a long straight nose that overhangs his lips and bisects his features. Townsend is given a bowl haircut and is easily unnerved, which is supposed to make him less attractive to women. Beckinsale of course can see through the shyness to the rabid assemblage of hormones roiling beneath. Beckinsale is appealing too, more than in the dismal "Pearl Harbor." She's wan and fragile, along the lines of Geraldine Chaplain. And any normal dentist would be dazzled by her teeth.

It's fast. Sometimes so fast that I lost the track of where the 50 million pounds were. But it is a successful comedy, and its success doesn't depend on teenagers making fools of themselves around a lot of rotting zombies. There's little in the way of pounding percussion. Much of the musical score is from Burt Bacharach's popular and innovative tunes of the 60s. This may turn some people off but I think I got a little high from listening to it.

Reviewed by dyneshv 7 / 10

Wonderful

Normally when it comes to voting for movies on the IMDb, I'm quite liberal. I don't set very high standards for movies. I always tend to rate films based on how much I enjoy them and this means that most of the time I always rate films highly cos I try and find something good in every film I see. I saw this film when I was vacationing in England. BBC One actually transmitted this at 11 PM, since they believed that The Peacemaker was a film more deserving of the 9:00 slot. Unlike the Peacemaker, Shooting Fish is a film that almost anybody would enjoy, unless he/she was the kind of person who found simple effective storytelling a turnoff.

Everything about this movie seems in perfect harmony. The chemistry between Dan Futterman and Stuart Townsend is perfect, word for word. And Kate Beckinsale is a perfect third piece to the puzzle; When the conversations in the movie occur, you never get the feeling you're watching a contrived conversation written by someone else, you get the feeling you're watching real life unfold. That's a hallmark of a good scriptwriter and the people who wrote this deserve credit for the story.

As for the story itself, it never lets itself become too complicated and lends itself to a lot of funny situations. Fast-talking Dylan and socially naive Jez (Futterman and Townsend) are two con men trying to raise money to build their dream house. They end up enlisting Georgina's (short-haired Kate Beckinsale in a beautiful role from her pre-Hollywood Glamourpuss days) help on a particular scam. Soon she discovers what they're up to and the story unfolds from there, with both Dylan and Jez seemingly falling for Georgie. Here again, the movie doesn't nosedive and morph into a conventional love story; rather, the romance builds in a backdrop to the main story and culminates in a heartwarming finale. As for Dan and Jez, some of their schemes may not be very believable and yet you cant help but be amused by the way they go about implementing them.

This film is a good reason why small budget comedy romances are popular - simply put, they work. On every level. Watching this film gives you the same kind of feeling as watching While you were Sleeping, for example. For the sheer sweetness of the film and for Kate Beckinsale's performance, I'd give it 7 on 10.

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