Out of Sight

Studio Universal Pictures and Jersey Films, 1998
Source: Based on the Elmore Leonard Novel, Out of Sight
Length 123 min
Genre: Crime/Contemporary
Special Notes:
Director:  Steven Soderbergh
Producer: Stacey Sher, Michael Shamberg, Danny Devito
Screenwriter: Scott Frank
Cast: George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Dennis Farina, Albert Brooks, Steve Zahn

Out of Sight, like Get Shorty, was a totally happy film experience for Elmore. The Get Shorty production team and writer: Danny DeVito’s Jersey Films and screenwriter Scott Frank, once again collaborated on an Elmore Leonard project. Jersey signed Steven Soderbergh to direct and he cast George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez in the lead roles. Jack Foley (George Clooney) escapes from a South Florida prison aided by his prison pal, Buddy (Ving Rhames). Between escaping Foley and his car to freedom stands Karen Cisco (Jennifer Lopez) who trains a shotgun on him. She is scooped up by Buddy and Jack and her end up in a car trunk together as Buddy speeds away. On this unusual “date” a romantic connection develops between them. Jack finally releases Karen and he in Buddy head to Detroit to hook up with Maurice “Snoopy” Miller, (Don Cheadle), a guy with whom they did prison time. They plan a big time home invasion robbery of Richard Ripley (Albert Brooks). Karen Cisco heads to Detroit, to capture Jack and directly toward a forbidden liaison. Clooney and Lopez added considerable sizzle to Out of Sight. Steve Zahn is hilarious as a stoner car thief; Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle and Isaiah Washington are all deadly and cool. Albert Brooks was a pleasant surprise. He makes the most out of the Ripley character. It was Scott Frank who took Ripley, off-stage in the book, and made him a key character. After Scott finished his screenplay, Elmore disagreed with the Ripley move and the “happy” movie ending, but admitted he was right after seeing the finished film. Out of Sight has a great look thanks to Steven Soderbergh’s masterful direction and Scott Frank’s savvy script. The film was a critical success but a box office so-so because of an unfortunate summer release date.

Opposites attract.