“Gold Brick” is a quirky heist flick with a comedic twist that feels like it’s straight out of the ’90s. But let’s be real. Everything has its roots in the past, and the ’90s are no exception. You can see the influence of iconic directors like Quentin Tarantino, Danny Boyle, and Guy Ritchie even now in 2023. However, “Gold Brick” director Jeremie Rozan adds a unique touch to this familiar genre by weaving in an anti-capitalist message with a distinctly French flavor. It’ll be interesting to see if Rozan’s approach breathes new life into a well-trodden path.
Imagine a place called Chartres, nestled in the heart of France, just a stone’s throw from Paris. Here, we find the Breuils, a made-up family who reign supreme in this imagined version of the city. They’re like royalty, but in a capitalist sense—they’ve got a luxury perfume business that’s been in their hands so long, they’ve raised a bunch of privileged heirs who’ve never known anything else. It’s all fiction, of course, but it mirrors reality in so many ways.
Enter Sauveur, played by Raphael Quenard. He’s our main man, a blue-collar hero who shares his witty thoughts through voiceover narration. He’s a grown man who probably should have moved out from his parent’s place by now, but there he is. His frustration with the elite has been simmering for years. As a server’s son at a fancy local eatery, he watched the Breuils enjoy fine dining and skimp on tips. Fast forward, and Sauveur, along with his buddy Scania (Igor Gotesman), tries to make a go of it with a small delivery service—only to be squashed by the Breuil corporation. And when Sauveur desperately needs a job, guess who ends up being his employer? Yep, the Breuils.
There’s Sauveur, perched at his station in the warehouse, glaring as luxury items he can’t afford pass him by. He’s earning peanuts, working under a boss who’s not above pocketing a slice of the already tiny bonus checks. But the monotony of the job gives a guy like Sauveur plenty of time to cook up a little side hustle.
Here’s the scoop: The old man Breuil bites the dust, and his hopelessly inept son Patrick (Antoine Gouy) steps up as the new CEO. To mark the occasion, every worker gets a swanky bottle of perfume. Sauveur couldn’t care less about the gift, so he throws it up online and bam! It sells for 50 Euro almost instantly. That gets him thinking.
Sauveur starts sneaking out a few bottles here and there, stashed in the trash, with Scania lending a hand. When selling them online becomes too risky, he turns to the black market, where guys peddling hot electronics at flea markets are more than happy to take the merchandise off his hands. In the midst of all this, Sauveur wins over Virginie (Agathe Rousselle), the HR manager who’s been snubbed for a promotion by the boss’s privileged son—the same clueless heir whose wife has her own reasons for pushing him to sell the company to Nougarolis (Gregoire Colin), a big shot in the discount retail game.
Virginie is sitting on a juicy piece of gossip: the company’s fancy inventory system has overlooked 2.5 million Euro worth of perfume. So she teams up with Sauveur to pinch nearly all of it—just shy of the total, to keep things under wraps. They concoct a plan that seems simple enough until, predictably, it’s not. And that’s when the real fun begins, with twists and turns that are sure to entertain because that’s what this whole caper is all about.
Quenard carries himself with a charm reminiscent of a young Viggo Mortensen, which is quite captivating – if only the script had done more to showcase this appeal.
“Gold Brick” is decent, though I can’t muster much more excitement than that. It’s a brisk 95-minute flick, a fun little heist movie that feels like the blue-collar cousin of “Ocean’s 11,” complete with cheeky Guy Ritchie-esque sequences, a plot about outsmarting the competition, and a cast of quirky characters. Sure, the editing could be tighter, the story twists more intricate, and the characters more unforgettable. The film gives off the vibe of a director just getting their bearings, playing it cautiously, and sticking to the genre playbook.
Rozan seems content with crafting a mildly entertaining film, eliciting a few laughs while taking a swing at criticizing modern capitalism. We naturally root for the underdog thief, especially when they’re up against the excessively wealthy; it’s frustrating to see how big companies could easily improve many lives if the top brass cared even a little. However, “Gold Brick” doesn’t quite ignite a fiery passion; Sauveur’s antics are more tame than thrilling, lacking suspense or high-stakes excitement. Rozan opts for a light touch, keeping things engaging enough to fend off the boredom on a dreary day.
“Gold Brick” isn’t unenjoyable, and while films need a bit more oomph to really shine in today’s overflowing streaming market, it’s sufficiently entertaining as a nostalgic piece. Go ahead and stream it, but temper your expectations.
- Best 10 Movies on Netflix in January 2023
- Best Movies on Netflix in February 2023
- The 11 Best New Movies on Netflix in March 2023
- 11 Best New Movies on Netflix in April 2023
- 11 Best New Movies on Netflix in May 2023
- 11 Best New Movies on Netflix in June 2023
- 9 Best New Movies on Netflix in July 2023
- The 9 Best New Movies on Netflix in August 2023
- The 10 Best New Movies on Netflix in September 2023
- 10 new movies and shows to watch in October 2023
- The 10 Best New Movies on Netflix in November 2023
- Best 9 New Movies on Netflix in December 2023
- Wham! Movie Review