(2003)4Tom VickNeil Jordan's The Good Thief is less a remake of Jean-Pierre Melville's Bob le Flambeur than an extended riff on its premise. It's a film rich in atmosphere and texture, with Jordan's camera constantly prowling the seedy underbelly of Nice where a rogues' gallery of underworld characters from places as far flung as Morocco, Russia, and America all congregate. Unlike the dapper hero of Melville's film, Nick Nolte's Bob, with his gravelly voice and sagging, wrinkled features, is an elegantly wasted scoundrel, albeit one imbued with a strong sense of discipline and honor. His affection for Anne (Nutsa Kukhianidze, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Isabelle Corey from Melville's film) is more protective than carnal, and when he decides to go for the big score in Monte Carlo, he quits drinking and handcuffs himself to his bed to kick his heroin habit. The heist itself is more elaborate than the one in the original, employing loads of high-tech gadgetry and a host of shady characters, all of whom seem to have a reason for betraying the others. Jordan also alters the ending, giving an unexpected twist to Bob's personal journey.