Their first rule is "You can't cheat an honest man". This is somewhat less of a moral commandment-though their leader likes to live by it-than it is a description of the con artist's lifestyle. An honest man is not greedy or looking to hurt people. But a dishonest man is and is thus vulnerable to the group's manipulations and diversionary tactics. As the group's sole woman explains to a new member , "We find people who are looking for something for nothing. And we give them nothing for something". So they especially enjoy sticking it to the high and mighty, the greedy, corporations, those who hurt other people, the violent, etc. However in truly desperate times they don't mind occasionally taking advantage of the honest sheep, though a few of them may feel some guilt about it later on. The show's lead writer, Tony Jordan, said that he saw this group as a five member pseudo-family (husband, wife, grandfather, uncle and child) and this is why in the first season he limited any sense of outside connections.
These hustlers like to play the "long con". This is a con job that may end up with the mark not even knowing he's been ripped off but also requires quite a bit of set up and trust to be gained over a period of time. It's high risk and high stakes-like deliberately mispricing an IPO, selling all your stock at the inflated price and high tailing it out of the country.
This season has a definite Ocean's Eleven or Mission Impossible feel to it as the group does various takedowns of marks, gets extorted into helping perform a bank robbery, takes revenge on a mobster who hurt Albert, scams big time art dealers and even finds the time to make things right with a honest factory owner they inadvertently harmed. The show is odd in that it doesn't mind occasionally breaking the Fourth Wall and freezing time to explain what's going on. You may find this ridiculously fun or just ridiculous. One such occurrence had a full on Broadway song and dance show as Mickey coached Danny on the proper way to appeal to a mark's need. Interestingly enough Lester's appearance in this series was an example of colorblind casting. The producers' original concept was that Mickey was Caucasian but when the producers saw Lester's work they wanted him. Although this is an ensemble cast with everyone getting a chance to shine, it's Lester and to a lesser extent Vaughn, that really make this show work. Bricks has the strongest backstory, one which explains his adamant refusal to live by the rules of society. He's also usually the smartest man in the room and knows it.
You will root for them to win as their marks and opponents are generally pretty horrible people.
If you like movies like The Sting or Contraband you might enjoy this show. They are literally rogues, criminals with hearts of gold. All the same if one of them were to ask you to hold some money for a while, I'd advise against it. Fun stuff and you can learn about a lot of classic scams that are no doubt being run on someone right this instant.
Anyway Elise Landry (Erika Christensen-who has evidently grown up since her role in Traffic) and Craig Landry (Jesse Metcalfe) are a Vermont upper middle class couple with a six year old son Benjamin (Thomas Greenwood). Elise is a realtor and Landry is a doctor. One day Elise goes off to work while Craig (evidently his shift doesn't start until much later) stays home to play with Ben. Ben is playing outside. Craig does not notice an idling pickup truck just 20 feet away from his home. He goes inside to get a tool he needs to fix one of Benjamin's toys and just that quick he hears his son screaming. He runs back out to see John Kozlowski (Bill Moseley from The Devil's Rejects) grab Ben and throw him in the truck. Craig is this close to getting his son back but the truck takes off. Craig runs back to get his SUV and follows after the truck but loses it in traffic. This is pretty powerful. Some events are shown in flashback as we see Kozlowski in makeup taunting and threatening the frightened Benjamin. Acting on a tip from someone who heard screams the police knock on Kozlowski's door and enter without warrant when they see bloody clothes but it's too late. Benjamin was possibly molested and already murdered.
Anyway the second act of the film is bloody torture and some surprises. The look of the film is deliberately(?) dark and murky just like the moral lessons. When a child is killed many people like to claim that they would want to make the perpetrator's life hell. This film asks if you could really do that.
Three high school friends, well actually more associates, are in their senior year. Matthew Garetty (Alex Russell) is somewhat popular with his female classmates. Steve Montgomery (Michael B. Jordan) is even more popular with everyone as he is running for class president. He's also on the football team. But the last member of the trio isn't popular with anyone. Matt's cousin, Andrew Detmer( Dane DeHaan) is painfully shy and withdrawn. His mother is dying of cancer. Andrew is routinely physically and verbally abused by his alcoholic father (Michael Kelly) who drinks up the money that should be used for his wife's medicine. And when Andrew goes to school he's bullied by other classmates and mocked by the cheerleaders. On the way home the local hoodlums like to mess with him. And his constant carrying around of his camera makes people nervous. Macho types invariably think he's trying to record their girlfriends and beat him up. So he's not having a good life.
But one night at a party that his cousin Matt has dragged him to, Andrew, Matt and Steve find an entrance to a cave. It looks more like a crater but the inside appears too regular. They enter and at the bottom find some sort of massive crystal device. Of course they get too close to the device and get nosebleeds, headaches and get nauseous. They leave but over the next few days they discover they're changing. Each of the boys start to show telekinetic powers and some form of immunity to blunt force trauma. At first they use these powers for obvious pranks such as using leaf blowers to look up women's skirts, making teddy bears scare little girls or hitting each other in the head with baseballs, Three Stooges style.
This was a very entertaining film BUT it would have been so much better I think were it placed in an adult setting. The special effects are superb. They're really good, particularly when one of the trio isn't paying attention while they're flying and almost gets hit by a 747. The SFX are not Avengers level special effects but they're close enough. The camera work makes you think you're flying. This is not a horror movie but it does make use of a few good horror tropes-ie. someone thought to be dead or unconscious opening their eyes before their opponent is aware. If you really didn't enjoy high school and/or are the sort of person who lies in bed thinking about how you're going to have retribution on all your enemies you might sympathize with Andrew. But the rest of us will just enjoy a fun flick. TRAILER