When you're a criminal, things are always great - all the way until they're not. That one last score before going legit, or being set for life never, ever goes to plan. Don't these guys watch movies? Don't they realize that the easy job is always the hardest or their last? Apparently not because Brett Bentman's indie flick, "Copper Bill" follows that very scenario like a fly to shit - then again, it almost has to follow suit because quite frankly, without this particular plot so very many great movies would simply not exist. Including this one. It's a story we all know and love - and by golly, it's always so much fun when done correctly. You essentially know exactly what to expect when you begin watching, but Bentman and his troupe still manage a few surprises. "Copper Bill" may have a familiar scent but rest assured reader, there are twists along the way. More than a couple.
In a nutshell? Jessup Cross is in trouble again. After racking up a rather large debt and obviously being unable to pay, he and his buddy Mitchell are off to do what criminals do best. Mitchell is a little unsure but since he's the real muscle of the job, what choice does he have? He obviously wants in on such a big score - wouldn't you? Besides, Jess not only needs Mitchell's connections but also his particular skills to get the job done. Should be an easy job - find the 80 million or so a dead gangster has stashed on his 500-acre property. Doesn't sound so easy? It is that easy when said gangsters granddaughter knows where the stash is, and will be there by herself for a week or so. Jessup and Mitchell saddle up and get down to business - still seemingly unaware of how the easy jobs are never easy. They do however, start to realize what's what right around the time they figure out the granddaughter, Lilly, is actually a mute. This is where "Copper Bill" really begins, and it's at this point I'm zipping it on the plot. Short version of this review? If you love a good heist, thriller type film - you'll feel completely at home here. It may not be anything groundbreaking, but loads of fun none the less.
As the short-lived dynamic duo of crime, Thom Hallum and Dustin Rhodes as Jessup and Mitchell simply work. They both understand their roles as criminals and also seem to realize that friendship is friendship - but business is business. Being friends won't protect you if it comes to the dreaded him or me scenario - it's an understanding that's played out quite a bit during the first two acts of the film, and these two talented actors nail it. But they're not alone, not by a long shot. The role of mute Lilly is handled superbly by Katy Harris. She may not have a lot to say, but also doesn't tend to need a lot of words to get her point across. Let me just leave it at that and move on.
For what it is, "Copper Bill" also manages to shine as a lower budget indie flick. It looks great, is acted out nicely, and for the most part, everything is paced out the way you expect it to be. There is a slight slow-down during the third act, a lot of exposition that I believe was thought needed to wrap things up. By this point however, you're already invested in the film - so it's not that big of a deal. I should also mention the twists and turns in the plot - right? I will admit I was caught off guard by a sudden death in the second act, but I had my suspicions about the big reveal at the end. Just saying. For the casual viewer that is simply along for the ride, the twists will be excellent fodder to talk about after the movie. For the more seasoned movie guru, perhaps not so much...
At the end of the day, Bentman and his crew have produced an entertaining film. No question. It won't leave you questioning the ways of the world, or thinking yourself down that deep hole that is morality - but it will be fun and most should find it pretty damn entertaining. I'd recommend "Copper Bill" to anyone who enjoys the genre, but even if the style is not your thing - there's still plenty here to enjoy. An easy four stars.