Directed by: #KCSchrimpl
Written by: #KCSchrimpl
There’s no honour among thieves...or so goes the old adage. But in heist thriller, Among Thieves, that certainly doesn’t seem to be the case. Here, as the title itself tells us, K.C. Schrimpl explores the oft blurred lines of morality between criminality and justice.
We all know the story: criminals on the run from the law, counterfeit money, and a heist gone wrong. It’s a tried-and-tested formula made eminently famous by Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. And here, it’s no different. When getaway driver, Rafael (Michael Gonzales), is killed during a “rough start” to a heist, Arthur (Aaron Farb) and his team find themselves holed up in the back of a truck that none of them can drive. With desperation setting in and tempers beginning to flare, the mismatched group must learn to work together if they’re to survive both the police and drug cartels.
Aaron Farb heads the film with a solid performance as the leader of the ragtag group, Arthur. The rest of the group comprises of Bruce (Phil Miler), Gil (Joe Connolley Jr.), Wes (Jeremy Sless) and Jimmy (Evan Hudson), all of whom give more than capable displays of likeable and interesting, albeit ill-defined, characters. The two characters that really stand out for me, however, are Roberto Medina’s good cop, Alonso, and Randy Vasquez’s (ex) bad cop, Hector. There’s a fantastic dynamic at play between these two, one of mutual respect but also distrust and uncertainty at each other’s methods that’s symbolic for the movie as a whole.
Within the first 15-minutes of the film, it’s clear that Schrimpl has taken inspiration from Tarantino: both in the method of his filmmaking and narrative tricks employed. Some of it doesn’t quite work. For example, it’s never clear which niche the other members of Arthur’s team fill; we know Arthur is the leader, and Rafael was the getaway driver, but that’s about it. This is an essential facet of the heist film and a big part of character understanding/development to leave out. This, along with some overly safe plot writing, means the film lacks much in the way of tension. However, and despite this being his first feature as writer and director, Schrimpl has done an excellent job here, and has crafted a well-made and interesting, if unoriginal, robbers-on-the-run tale.
Indeed, and despite any issues the movie has, there’s a lot of fun to be had with Among Thieves. The film’s exploration of criminal morality is superb and well put across, and, had it been supported by more well-defined characters and daring writing (the stalemate towards the end of the film feels a little anticlimactic) this could have been a better piece overall. And, although heist movie veterans aren’t likely to find anything hugely exciting here, for general audiences at least, this is an entertaining enough romp.