The Con Artist – DVD Review

The Con Artist

Vincent (Rossif Sutherland) is resolute about getting his life back on track after serving a five-year prison sentence (grand theft auto). Crime boss, Kransi (Donald Sutherland), has other plans for his old protégé, who’s strong-armed back into crime. During an errand, Vincent literally crashes his car into gallery owner Belinda (Rebecca Ronjin), who subsequently discovers his artistic abilities and launches him into the very heart of Toronto’s art scene, where urbanites light their cigarettes with fifty-dollar bills and call their servants “stupid bitches”.
For some reason, a life-threatening conflict arises between Vincent ‘making art’ and Vincent stealing autos—that—and Vincent’s criminal cohorts think ‘making art is gay’, which becomes the primary motive for his attempted assassination.
I have to say I straight up despised watching this film.
It wasn’t because the story’s as purposeful as a fart joke. It wasn’t even the bewilderingly offensive moments that soiled 87 minutes of my memory. I despised it mainly for its baffling sexism and homophobia.
Some thoughts:
1. Don’t Drink and Contrive: Russel Peters is a successful comedian but, somehow, you hear him quoting Monopoly’s “Go directly to jail…” card.
2. The plot’s imposed, not developed. So it mystifies me why this particular film was given oxygen over an unfathomable number of others. Here’s a plot sample: (a) Vincent crashes his car into an art gallery owner (b) She happens upon his art-heap and becomes the first of many important people to see his junk and go gaga over it (c) Vincent’s just short of wiping his ass with fifty-dollar bills just days after getting out of the slammer—oh, and he hooks up with what’s her name… (d) Vincent uses a fifty-dollar bill and a stick of gum to steal a car. Seriously.
3. There are frequent depictions of pretentious artists in this flagrantly pretentious film: which is ironic because it’s so pretentious when every character is either desperately in need of, or madly in love with your protagonist; it reeks of narcissism. It’s also awkward.
4. One of the writers stole a car once, that’s why this happened.
5. Two-dimensional female roles that only serve to give life to deprived fantasies: if this film was in any way significant to our society, I’d say it’d set the women’s rights movement back a few decades.
6. Vincent tells what’s her name that she’s good at blowing stuff because she says “blowing” in the following line: “blowing is part of my job”.
7. Vincent get drunk, pretends he’s French and kisses what’s her name’s ex boyfriend to impress her… then says the ex is a better kisser. Tease.
8. Climax: Plot A: Vincent rats out the gang so he can be left to manipulate his junk in peace; Plot B: Vincent’s crime buddies want to murder him because they think making art is “gay”.
9. How’s this not a PR nightmare for Telefilm Canada?
10. I want to watch Benjamin Heisenberg’s The Robber, not a comedy but a damn good heist film.