Film adaptations of the works of Elmore Leonard are not all successful. Often set in the 1970s, many of them are laced with funky period-piece tropes that are just a little too overt and cornball-ish. One of the more recent adaptations, “Freaky Deaky,” was positively terrible (you can read about that in our feature: The Films of Elmore Leonard Ranked From Worst To Best. So buyer beware, another adaptation is on the way and yes, it’s full of afros, wah pedals, disco strings and other garish period-piece elements.
Directed and written by Daniel Schechter, and based on the Elmore Leonard book “The Switch,” the latest film “Life Of Crime” stars Jennifer Aniston, John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey, Mark Boone Junior, Will Forte, Isla Fisher and Tim Robbins. And yes, it’s a dark comedy of crime gone awry. Here’s the official synopsis:
Based on Elmore Leonard’s novel “The Switch,” LIFE OF CRIME is a dark caper comedy starring Jennifer Aniston, John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey, Will Forte, Mark Boone Junior, Isla Fisher and Tim Robbins. The wife (JENNIFER ANISTON) of a corrupt real estate developer (TIM ROBBINS) is kidnapped by two common criminals (Yasiin Bey and JOHN HAWKES), who intend to extort him with inside information about his crooked business and off-shore accounts. But the husband decides he’d actually rather not pay the ransom to get back his wife, setting off an unbelievable sequence of double crosses and plot twists that could only come from the mind of Elmore Leonard.
Leonard’s “The Switch” is a kind of prequel to “Rum Punch” and centers on Louis (Hawkes) and Ordell (Mos Def as Yasiin Bey) as two common criminals in 1970s Detroit who kidnap a woman. You’ll remember these two characters from Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown” (his adaptation of “Rum Punch”) as played by Robert DeNiro and Samuel L. Jackson. But the similarities seem to end there.
This one debuted last year at the Toronto International Film Festival to… not negative reviews, but a lot of crickets, which doesn’t bode super well either. And the trailer looks, well, ok I suppose. But appearances can be deceiving, so who knows. “Life Of Crime” will open in theaters & be available on VOD August 29. Watch the new trailer below along with some new photos.