Thin Ice | Film review
Jill Sprecher’s recut con film seems pretty thin, indeed.
Insurance salesman and compulsive liar Mickey Prohaska (Greg Kinnear) dreams of escaping the cold of Kenosha for a permanent vacation in a tropical paradise. Too bad he’s broke, perpetually robbing Peter to pay Jo Ann (Lea Thompson), his ex-wife. So when Mickey discovers that his latest client, a forgetful septuagenarian named Gorvy (Alan Arkin), doesn’t realize he owns a priceless violin, it’s a no-brainer: Swipe it and sell it. But Mickey’s something of a no-brainer himself, and he might not be cut out for the long con. His scheme quickly escalates from deceit to robbery to possible murder. Cue the squirmfest, as Kinnear talks his way into deeper and deeper trouble.
If Mickey were a little less sneaky, he’d be the perfect protagonist for these hard economic times. As things stand—in a cut that was reportedly taken away from Sprecher and trimmed by more than 15 minutes since its debut as The Convincer at Sundance 2011—he’s too mean to garner sympathy and too pathetic to draw laughs. The best performance comes from Billy Crudup as a shady locksmith who gets mixed up with Mickey and has to deal with his bottomless stupidities as their lives go further and further south—and not necessarily to the Caribbean.