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‘Steal Big’ Should Steal Better Plot

Fri., Sept. 29, 1995

You got to give Andrew Davis credit for swimming against the current.

After scoring with a blockbuster like “The Fugitive” (1993), most directors would jump right into another mainstream action flick. Not Davis, however, who instead made a rather complex seriocomedy called “Steal Big, Steal Little.”

I wish I could tell you that Davis’ efforts to create a more “personal” sort of movie than “The Fugitive” have resulted in a great (or even watchable) movie. But “Steal Big” is an unmitigated fiasco, a cluttered and confusing mess.

In “Steal Big,” the story and screenplay are credited to a half-dozen people, and the jumbled movie plays like each scene had a different writer.

The plot concerns identical-twin Latino brothers, both played by Andy Garcia (“When a Man Loves a Woman”). Ruben Martinez is a man of the people and the land while brother Robby Martin is a polo-playing high-roller who, according to Ruben, has turned living beyond his means into an art form.

When Ruben inherits control of the large Santa Barbara estate on which the twins were raised, an infuriated Robby tries every trick in the book to seize the place.

“Steal Big” is too broadly antic for a sophisticated audience, too confusing for mainstream moviegoers and much too long for both. Garcia is an appealing actor, but even with two roles, he’s wasted.

Bring on “Fugitive II.”

xxxx “STEAL BIG, STEAL LITTLe” Location: North Division, Lincoln Heights and Coeur d’Alene cinemas Credits: Directed by Andrew Davis, starring Andy Garcia, Rubin Martinez, Robby Martin, Rachel Ticotin, Alan Arkin and Joe Pantoliano Running time: 2:15 Rating: PG-13

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