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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Too many cooks spoil the broth.


Plot Overview

Financial consumers are hurrying to finish up at Credit Int'l Bank at the end of a business day (“Make it quick, honey, we're closing.”) Not in a hurry is Tripp (Patrick Dempsey) come in to make change (“I have a thing for coins”) and to flirt with pretty teller Kaitlin (Ashley Judd). Coming through the door in a hurry are daring duo Peanut Butter (Tim Blake Nelson) and Jelly (Pruitt Taylor Vince) whose imagination at robbing a bank has more to do with weapons grade C4 explosive than with using their heads. Entering in through the roof are three coordinated thieves: Darrien “We're live!” (Mekhi Phifer), Gates “Go weapons hot!” (Matt Ryan), and “We're go!” Weins­tein (John Ventimiglia). For a routine upgrade, “The entire security system was down for two minutes,” and some­one brokered that info to more than one set of thieves.

In their initial confrontation some­one gets shot and killed, and the hostages see the faces of their captors. This means they can't allow them to live out the night, though for the time being they're useful—“as human shields or to bring us stuff.” It's like being caught in flypaper: bad enough for now, but in the end disastrously worse at disposal time. Tripp conveys this appraisal (“We're never gonna get out of the bank alive”) to the others who are about as receptive as was the prophet Jeremiah to bad news from God, Jer. 12:5.

Tripp suffers from schizoid personality disorder w/ autism & obsessive traits, so he needs his meds to “shut off the TVs.” Unable to get them he goes into manic mode becoming the hostages' best hope.


As in the microcosm so in the macrocosm, The bank robbery in “Flypaper” has a lot to say about our society at large. The following exchange takes place among three of the robbers:

Gates: … you bald little Jew!

Weinstein: It never ends! 3000 years we've been doing this shit!

Darrien [who is black]: Yeah, I know, man, I know.

Weinstein: I mean it's not like I'm an accountant or a comedy writer or some­thing really Jewy. I'm a f_cking bank robber, for Christ's sake! You know how many Jewish bank robbers there are?

Darrien: Not many.

Weinstein: NOT very many!

The movie takes the l-o-n-g view and uses the bank robbery business to reflect a class-stratified capital­istic society. How long? Wein­stein complains of 3000 years, and Darrien easily relates. When it came down to: “And then there were six,” I'd say it could go all the way back to the three couples by whom the world was repopulated after the great flood of Noah, through his three sons Shem, Ham and Japheth. Ussher pegs the Global Flood at 2348 B.C. The posters on the bank walls could well represent Noah's view looking forward: "A WORLD OF MONEY", "EXPANDED HORIZONS", and "EMERGING MARKETS". Shem's sons became the Semites, of course. The descen­dants of Japheth settled in Europe. Ham's sons settled in Africa to become our African-Americans. There is continuity.

Noah in the “Noah” movie pegs the character flaws of his three sons: “Shem is blinded by desire, Ham is covetous, and Japheth lives only to please.” Because of some sexual sin(s) on the part of Ham, Gen. 9:22-23, Noah cursed Ham's succeeding generations with servitude, Gen. 9:24-25, seemingly as a counter­point to his uppity­ness ("EMERGING MARKETS"). He blessed Shem seemingly with a capitalistic system ("A WORLD OF MONEY") that harnesses man's (Shem's) natural greed, Gen. 9:26. And Japheth was blessed to be integrated into Shem's system ("EXPANDED HORIZONS"), with Ham's descendants in servitude to him as well, Gen. 9:27.

In “Flypaper” we're shown three characters briefly in a crisis after­math who reflect the three sons of Noah: Kaitlin the successful capitalist having blasted through the glass ceiling is poised to move from the number 3 position in her field to number 2. Uppity Madge Wiggins (Octavia Spencer) the black teller is using her narrow escape to wring some benefits from the bank, strangely reminiscent of what Jewish tradition says happened to Ham—see my review of “Noah.” Madge had been lusting after Tripp when he first entered the bank. Because of Ham's lust, Noah cursed him by elongating his penis. Madge just wants a long vacation (“I want two months off, paid” perhaps to indulge her lusts as Peanut Butter & Jelly were poised to do.) Because of Ham's sin, Noah turned his skin black. Madge just wants a particular war­drobe: “I want to wear jeans five days a week, not just Friday.” Madge wants facial surgery: “I want lasik, both eyes.” Ham as well had two facial features altered by Noah: his hair was turned kinky because of his perver­sion, and his lips were made puffy because of his insolence. The third character Rex New­bauer (Rob Huebel), loan officer and certified post-robbery counselor, took all the credit for having “led my team of hostages through the darkest days of their lives.” It was actually Tripp who led them right, Rex is just a people-pleaser.

“Flypaper” is eminently reflective of the long view of putting up with this stuff, and if it really comes from old man Noah, I'm not sure what can be done about it save for some kind of re­gener­ation of man's nature, but that's beyond the scope of this movie and of this review.

Production Values

“Flypaper” (2011) was directed by Rob Minkoff and written by Jon Lucas & Scott Moore—writers of “The Hang­over.” The director referred to Peanut Butter and Jelly as Laurel and Hardy equivalents. They provided the comedic element. The other team of three bank robbers were “the pro­fes­sionals” whose elaborate coordination gave the movie a thriller dimension. Tripp off his meds was the Rain­man type whose detailed investigation brought out more than a touch of mystery. Kaitlin slowly falling for Tripp added the romance.

Some very talented actors included Patrick Dempsey, Ashley Judd, Tim Blake Nelson, Octavia Spencer, Jeffery Tambor, John Ventamiglia, and Mekhi Phiffer. Music was by John Swihart. It was 87 minutes long.

Review Conclusion w/ Consumer Recommendation

You've maybe heard the story of scientists trying to rank animals according to their ability in: swimming, running, flying, and singing. A lot of animals did really well in one category or two, but it was the duck who was a solid average at all four. “Flypaper” is like that; it doesn't particularly excel in any one genre, but it holds its own in several. I liked it because I have eclectic tastes and am easy to please. It might also be good for groups that include fans of different types of film. It could even hold its own as a film noir.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Decent action scenes Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good for Groups. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall product rating: three stars out of five.