“High Heels” Kicks into Action-Thriller Gear

Jennifer Bernardo
El Vaquero Editor-in-Chief
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Just when you thought you couldn’t bear to watch another movie about the “dreary” lives of single women transformed overnight by adventure and mishap, here comes Mel Smith’s “High Heels and Low Lifes,” serving a spoonful of the tired genre.

The movie starts off with a bank heist, which intersects with the lives of Shannon (Minnie Driver), an emergency room nurse, and Frances (Mary McCormack), a struggling actress.
Shannon lives with her boyfriend, Ray (Darren Boyd) who is obsessed with tuning in to mobile phone conversations with his radio scanner. When Shannon and Frances overhear a conversation about a bank robbery that is taking place in their neighborhood, they decide to blackmail the thieves.

The criminals respond to Shannon and Frances’ demand with dirty tricks and violence, and the movie kicks in to high gear with one failed blackmail attempt after another.

The action-thriller-comedy is not all that bad, but the audience has to sit through the first 15 minutes until it gets better. Shannon is portrayed as a typical single girl involved with a guy who takes her for granted. He even forgets her birthday and refuses to go out and celebrate. Frances is the party girlfriend and out-of-luck actress who decides to take her out instead.

There is such a lack of chemistry between Shannon and Frances in the beginning of the movie that the audience is left to wonder if they are really good friends or just mere acquaintances. However, the chemistry is saved when they transform into their “Thelma and Louise” personas to blackmail the criminals. They seem to feed off each other’s “good cop, bad cop” roles.

Leading the criminals is Kerrigan (Michael Gambon). Gambon plays the perfect “big boss;” he is cold and calculating as he absolutely refuses to give the girls one penny of his loot. Danny (Danny Dyer) and Tony (Simon Scardifield) play the two bumbling detectives trying to find the criminals and the two elusive witnesses.
“High Heels” is not a bad movie, although it does get carried away with the girl power theme, even as “Sisters are Doing it for Themselves” plays out the final credits.