(Story by HollywoodChicago.com) – As this year of heist films set in London continues (“The Bank Job” was last month), “Flawless” does adhere to the rules of successful application of this genre.

Set in 1960, there is the fabulous treasure: the icy gems within the vault of the London Diamond Corporation. There are the greedy corporation men to stick it to once the loot is plundered.

There’s also the mastermind with the platinum plan: veteran film star Michael Caine.

Combine these ingredients with an engaging caper and this heist movie will steal your heart. Caine portrays Mr. Hobbs – the night janitor at the London Diamond Corp. – who’s an invisible wage slave.

He’s mopping the floors all while the diamonds glitter just out of reach behind a thick, steel vault. He knows all the office politics in the building including that the only female executive in the company, Laura Quinn (played by Demi Moore), is about to be fired.

Sensing an opening, Hobbs approaches the jilted employee with a plan.

Help him get the combination to the big vault and he will equally split any proceeds from the diamonds he manages to steal with her.

Laura holds up her end of the bargain, but when the actual robbery takes place, an unexpected twist in the emptied vault throws the entire corporation into a tailspin.

Will the investigators figure out who did it and why? The game is afoot.

This is an old-fashioned, story-driven escapade that respects everyone’s intelligence and allows you to cheer for the underdog. Caine – a veteran of film since the 1950s – knows exactly the type of spice to stir into the Mr. Hobbs character and has a grand time behind his knowing smile.

Moore actually plays an age-appropriate character who handles the heavy burden that represents women at the time with depth and aplomb.

Michael Caine and Demi Moore in Flawless
Photo credit: IMDb

Though her depicted firing was political, in the scenes where she wears a fancy ball gown it’s hard to imagine a man-heavy company like the diamond house not considering her an asset.

That’s a telling point about the times.

I was struck by the way the film’s willing to show how the richest of corporate officers – when their silk-encased butts are backed against the wall – are just ruthless and greedy thugs.

As the saying goes: “Behind every great fortune is a great crime.” In the context of the film, just who is the real criminal?

The motivation for the diamond robbery and the result of it is a little sappy. With the atmosphere of pre-swinging London, the social and sexual commentary, the janitor as a hero and a witty and reasonable end game to it all, this is a fun popcorn movie that even your grandma can enjoy. She’ll even recognize Michael Caine! I’d like to recognize Demi Moore in that ball gown. Yowsa.

“Flawless” opened on March 28, 2008.

Staff Writer

© 2008 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com