The Ladykillers

The Ladykillers
  • 2004
  • US
  • 1h 44min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
  • Cast: Tom Hanks, Irma P Hall, Marlon Wayans, JK Simmons, Tzi Ma, Ryan Hurst

Bland remake of Mackendrick's 1955 Ealing classic. Hanks gleefully adjusts his false teeth to play a southern variation of Alec Guinness' professor, with Irma P Hall's tough evangelism replacing Katie Johnson's frailness as the 'formidable antagonist' of a landlady who stands between Hanks' gang and stolen casino money. Predictable jokes about dim-witted criminals posing as musicians follow, plus bouts of irritable bowel syndrome, a dog in a gas mask and various other low-brow Coen-style riffs shape the familiar comic theme. That said, the relocation to the Deep South does provide the space for some welcome satirical jibes at black culture, mainly through Marlon Wayans' foulmouthed janitor Gawain McSam, and the fresh setting provides an excuse for a great gospel soundtrack too.

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