“Loosies” tries something that I wish more indies would strive for. It’s an independent movie that reaches for mass appeal. Just because a movie’s budget is miniscule doesn’t mean it can’t please the general public. It’s not an easy accomplishment, but I it’s possible.
“Loosies” is the story of a New York pick pocket named Bobby (Peter Facinelli). He’s slick, charming, and fast paced, but he still lives with his mother. Most of his stolen merchandise goes to a lethargic and flippant mob boss named Jax (Vincent Gallo). He’s working off a gambling debt to Jax that was started by his late father. Even though Bobby’s tethered to his father’s gambling addiction, he seems to enjoy his life of crime. One day, out for a pick pocketing, he’s approached by the lovely lucy. Lucy and Bobby had a one-night-stand not too long ago, and Lucy is now pregnant.
There’s also a side plot with Michael Madsen playing a police Lieutenant with a goofy dilemma. His badge was stolen by Bobby, and that act of failure is what is keeping him from being promoted to commissioner. I’m not sure how good of a police officer he is for he is constantly foiled by Bobby, he doesn’t seem to do any police work, and he seems apathetic to the world around him. That may be due to Madsen’s performance, and Madsen does make a good sociopath, but this character doesn’t seem to be written as one.
The bulk of the movie is Bobby trying to juggle the pregnancy, his debt, evading the police, and deciding between a life of crime or something a bit more morally fluffy. He seems like a nice guy overall as he claims to only steal from the people who could live without their stolen possessions.
This movie is clearly made with a budget. The camera work is shaky, the lighting is harsh, and the audio is muffled from background noise. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, for it works with this movie. It has a lot of potential for it’s content is charming, but some of that charm is diluted by its editing. Whoever edited this movie should be punched in the genitals. It’s so fast paced and sporadic that it becomes jarring and hard to follow.
Is this a good movie? No, not really, and it’s not because of its financial situation. It has all the tools it needs to be something pretty cool, but its loose story structure is what hurts it the most. Some dialog comes off as goofy, problems are solved fairly easily, and never do I feel that the stakes are all that high.
Revealing that Bobby is a pickpocket so that he can even his dead father’s gambling debt really waters down the character. Pick pocketing isn’t a harsh enough crime for me to find Bobby’s character irredeemable. He also reveals that he is totally infatuated with Lucy and that he didn’t want to drag her down to his world. What? Really? I didn’t get any sense of that at all. He seemed semi ambivalent towards her throughout most of the movie. It wasn’t until the movie had to reveal something along those lines for the story to continue. It seemed out of place.
I was the most interested in Bobby when I thought he was a self centered and morally wobbly character. Once it’s revealed that he has a heart of gold, I lost some interest. The leap from narcissistic thief to good guy is a much more interesting than a pretty good guy to an all around good guy.
All in all, ‘Loosies’ isn’t bad, but it doesn’t do anything that makes it memorable. I’m probably not going to think about after I’m done writing this review. I zoned out a few times and I had trouble remembering certain scenes in order to write this review. That’s not a good sign. Re-watching a scene because it was just that engaging is what movies should strive for. Re-watching a scene because I can’t remember what I watched 30 seconds ago is what they should avoid.