Is Keanu’s new action flick, Henry’s Crime — which was shot in Tarrytown — a crime in itself?
By Marisa LaScala
We have lots of big-screen stars in our midst, but this time, a Tarrytown street gets its close-up.
In Henry’s Crime, which stars Keanu Reeves and Vera Farmiga (The Departed, Up In the Air), a man (Henry, obviously) is wrongfully imprisoned for robbing a bank. After his release, he decides to actually commit the crime for which he already went to jail. In order to infiltrate the bank, however, Henry needs to access a tunnel below a theater — so he joins a production of The Cherry Orchard. Here’s the trailer:
Hmmm, does that theater look familiar? It’s the Tarrytown Music Hall, recast as the “Orpheum.” You get a perfect shot of it at the 0:22 mark, which I’ve taken a screenshot of because it goes by very quickly.
I think it looks great — the filmmakers kept the cool Art Deco vibe going with the marquee. The Music Hall’s Facebook page notes that other scenes in the trailer were filmed at the Wachovia across the street. Spot any other local sites?
And personally, I really dig Keanu’s fake Cherry Orchard beard. I think he should keep it.
Unfortunately, though, not everything about Henry’s Crime is as amazing as the location (or the beard). For starters, the story itself doesn’t take place in Tarrytown. No, this time, we’re a stand-in for Buffalo. Buffalo should only be so lucky!
And when screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, it didn’t receive any raves. Screen Daily called it a “laidback, low-key romantic caper [that] feels more like Big Deal On Madonna Street as re-written by Woody Allen, except Allen beat him to the punch with Small Time Crooks.” Variety was even more critical when it said that, “While the absurdity builds, the intensity never does — a problem shared by director Malcolm Venville’s previous feature, 44 Inch Chest. With a background in photography, rather than drama, the helmer chooses to operate within genre conventions while denying auds the thrills such pics usually provide.” Its most positive review, from Reel Film Reviews, sticks in a bit at the end that says the film runs “into some trouble as it approaches its expectedly hackneyed conclusion — as the movie suffers from a stagnant atmosphere that’s exacerbated by an emphasis on almost eye-rollingly stale elements.” Sheesh, with friends like those... !
Still, I’m optimistic. It’s possible that they just cut a good trailer, but I think Henry’s Crime looks like a good mix of action and absurdity. (Then again, I really liked Small Time Crooks, so maybe it’s just playing into my personal preferences.) Sometimes, when films mix genres in that way, literal-minded reviewers don’t really know what to do with them. Sure, it may not be the most thrilling or original crime/heist/action film ever, but it sure looks like a heftier, less formuliac romantic comedy than last year’s Leap Year or When in Rome. I’ll still give it a chance.
Henry’s Crime doesn’t have a release date yet, but keep an eye out on its (bare-bones) Facebook page for more info. Will you see the flick? Let me know in the comments box below.
Associate Editor Marisa LaScala joined Westchester magazine in 2003, and ever since she's blown every paycheck at the Greenburgh Multiplex. She also staunchly defends Richard Kelly, doesn't mind spoiling the endings of trashy movies you're curious about but don't want to pay to see, wishes the Hold Steady would come back and rock out Westchester, misses Arrested Development more than anyone can imagine, and still watches cartoons and Saturday Night Live. You can find more of her cultural criticism at www.popmatters.com, where she is a staff writer.