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'Loophole' (1981) - John Quested.

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  • 'Loophole' (1981) - John Quested.

    This excitingly off-beat, unfairly overlooked, intelligently crafted British heist thriller has a loot to shout about! Not least being the engagingly written, tautly plotted screenplay that clearly attracted such a wealth of sublime acting talent! John Quested's dynamite crime thriller about a seasoned, tightly-knit crew of experienced blaggers planning and executing an audaciously lucrative heist has demonstratively lost none of its fascination! Alongside the razor-sharp filmmaking by Quested, the nuanced performances are irresistible, and the driving, atmospheric score by maestro Lalo Schifrin is a defining factor in elevating this engrossing narrative's dramatic intensity.

    It's always a rare treat watching a finely honed, artisan genre feature starring so many supremely gifted actors! Another pleasing aspect of 'Loophole' is that the credible dramatic elements are no less robustly expressed than the frantic, thrillingly tense heist itself. The gifted director's lean, no-frills approach is remarkably effective, drawing the viewer deep into the protagonists increasingly precarious, unrelentingly harsh subterranean environment, thereby giving their pragmatic actions a stark authenticity so frequently absent in Loophole's glossier, hyperrealistic counterparts. There's one especially evocative interlude wherein the cool master thief Mike (Albert Finney) and the plainly anxious architect Stephen (Martin Sheen) silently take tea together before finalizing their fateful partnership which proved most eloquent, and for me, rewarding subtleties like this separate the cinematic wheat from the chaff!

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