Film Review – Out of Sight (1998)

Title – Out of Sight (1998)

Director – Steven Soderbergh (Traffic)

Cast – George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Steve Zahn, Dennis Farina, Albert Brooks

Plot – Charismatic career criminal Jack Foley (Clooney) escapes from jail and finds himself in an intriguing relationship with US Marshall Karen Sisco (Lopez) who he kidnaps upon his escape.

“You wanted to tussle. We tussled”

Review by Eddie on 10/08/2020

An effortlessly cool film that showcased what was to come from director Steven Soderbergh when he was soon to tackle his remake of the Ocean’s franchise, Out of Sight was the making of the early 2000 career’s of its stars George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez who shine in a scattershot adaption of Elmore Leonard’s novel.

A mid-tier hit upon release, with some bonus Oscar nominations to boot, Sight was arguably Soderbergh’s most commercially minded project to date as he follows Clooney’s career criminal Jack Foley (think Danny Ocean but a little naughtier) on a quest for fortune that encounters a bump in the road when he at first kidnaps then falls in love with Jennifer Lopez’s feisty US Marshall Karen Sisco.

You would think with a somewhat familiar set up of star-crossed lovers Sight will follow a particular path but Soderbergh is uninterested in this, as a typically darkly humorous Leonard plot-line takes hold, filled with dumb criminals and sharply tuned characterizations and a feeling like the film shortchanges its best element, the pairing of Clooney and Lopez.

Sharing perhaps 20 – 30 minutes of screen-time in a film that clocks in at a fast moving 2 hours, Clooney and Lopez’s chemistry and interplay is some of the best you’d see from the late 90’s era of Hollywood movies but unfortunately they are kept apart for large portions of the films screen time, with anything outside of their double feeling rather lame and tame in comparison.

Then still mostly the hot doctor from hit TV show E.R and the Latino singer making waves and trying to crack it big time in the movies, Clooney and Lopez are at the peak of their powers here and are dynamite together.

Foley and Sisco’s first proper meeting that takes place in the boot of a car is memorable purely because of the twos instantaneous chemistry and energy and whenever they get time to share the spotlight, Sight is a film that grips you tight as both a thriller and a comedic delight but their limited screen-time can’t save an otherwise forgettable affair from being just another crime comedy.

There’s a lot of other players in the film from Ving Rhames loyal friend Buddy, Steve Zahn’s stoner accomplice Glen and in one of his more dated performances Don Cheadle as hustler Maurice and there’s even more plot lines and subplots to mention but outside of the will they won’t they romance of Foley and Sisco, none of them or none of their story arcs is worth much airtime.

Final Say – 

The chemistry between its two leads is a sight to behold and the film itself exudes an effortless cool but Out of Sight is a mostly forgettable affair outside of its suave attitude and charismatic headliners.

2 1/2 gold fish out of 5 

5 responses to “Film Review – Out of Sight (1998)

  1. I completely forgot about this movie. I had to watch the trailer to jog my memory on whether or not I’ve seen it. I was seventeen when it came out and was definitely watching movies by myself at the theatre then, but I still can’t recall. Speaking of late 90s/Y2k era Hollywood, I did a search on your site and didn’t see a review of
    The Boiler Room. I highly recommend it as an underrated little gem.

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