Run time: 86 mins
In Theaters: Friday 20th July 2001
Distributed by: Buena Vista Distribution Compa
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 20%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 24
IMDB: 6.2 / 10
Director: Mel Smith
Screenwriter: Kim Fuller
Starring: Minnie Driver as Shannon, Mary McCormack as Frances, Kevin McNally as Mason, Danny Dyer as Danny, Michael Gambon as Kerrigan, Darren Boyd as Ray, Mark Williams as Tremaine, Simon Scardifield as Tony, Len Collin as Barry, Jane Partridge as Receptionist, Ranjit Krishnamma as Doctor, Ben Walden as Bloodied actor, Mark Meadows as Romantic actor, Danny Babington as Suspect, Kevin Eldon as McGill, Julian Wadham as Rogers, John Sessions as Director, Paul Brown as Barman, Michael Attwell as Duty Sergeant, Jason Griffiths as Paramedic
Stop me if you've heard this one before: Two crazy girls overhear a crime going down, then decide to turn the tables on the criminals by extorting some cash for themselves. Hilarity ensues! Oh, you have heard it... well this time it's different -- you see, one girl is British and one is American.
Still with me? While High Heels and Low Lifes has a few charming moments, it's as derivative as the description above, one of those tired comedy capers that turns on a series of incredible coincidences en route to cracking lame jokes. Minnie Driver and Mary McCormack are fine -- if bored -- in the femmes fatale roles, and a whole host of anonymous British character actors fill out the villain parts. The exception is Michael Gambon, memorable as a scarred and vaguely fey crime boss who finds the girls' extortion scheme more trouble than anyone.
Sadly, there's only so much any actor could have done with this material. Director Mel Smith (whose last outing was the truly bad Bean) and writer Kim Fuller (who wrote Spice World and a whole flotilla of failed TV series) are intent on inserting as many gags at possible into the film, at the expense of pacing, logic, and common sense. That would be forgivable, only the gags are pretty flat. A bartender wears a neck brace that is supposed to be comical. A thug hunts a rabbit in the backyard with a machine gun -- and misses. That kind of stuff... you know, it elicits a giggle, but not much more.
And stretching the boundaries of DVD "special features," and I quote: "Action Overload" Fast-Paced Montage Set To Music. (Essentially it's a 90 second music-video version of the film for those in a rush.) Kids, I don't make this stuff up. I couldn't if I tried.
Taking five for pantomime.