Flypaper (Blu-ray Review)

Two gangs of robbers descend on the same bank, but hearts are what may be stolen instead in Flypaper, a madcap crime comedy from the screenwriters of the blockbuster The Hangover. Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy) stars as a nervous customer with a crush on beautiful teller Ashley Judd (Double Jeopardy, Crossing Over). They and the other staff and customers become hostages when two very different groups of crooks hit the bank simultaneously: a high-tech trio who plan to break into the vault and a pair of small-timers whose idea of a big score is knocking off the ATMs. When people begin mysteriously dying one by one, everyone involved begins to wonder if there’s someone else in the bank up to no good. Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where Art Thou?), Mekhi Phifer (Dawn of the Dead) and Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development) also star in this comic blast of a mystery.


Tripp (Patrick Dempsey) has a combination of issues.  He is a probably functionally autistic, definitely neurotic and absolutely obsessive man that really likes coins and is caught in the middle of not one but two bank robberies.  When the bank robbery goes down, Tripp tackles the beautiful teller he has a crush on named Kaitlin (Ashley Judd) to keep her safe.  One crew is a professional and organized gang.  The other doesn’t even have professional nicknames.  They call themselves Peanut Butter and Jelly and are sloppy, careless, and they have easily identifiable tattoos and the other gang is quick to criticize them.

Right off the bat, someone in the bank is shot.  Interrupting the gunfight, Trip realizes that the two crews are not after the same items, and although he is not a part of the robberies, he suggests that both gangs can get what they want and carry on with their plans.  While one team carries out a carefully planned job on a schedule, the other team has a suitcase full of explosives they hope to use to get into the ATM machines.

The banks security system locks down sealing everyone inside and Trip and Kaitlin get to know the robbers, their fellow captives and learn a lot about each other in the process.  One of the captives is even a certified post robbery counselor, who tries to assist the group in bonding.  At one point, the robbers decide to use the captives and pick teams giving them nicknames like hottie, sorta quasi-hottie, q-ball, creepy mustache, black chick, freak show, and closet homosexual.  Directed by Rob Minkoff, Flypaper features an ensemble cast including Mekhi Phifer, Jeffrey Tambor, Tim Blake Nelson, Pruitt Taylor Vince and John Ventimiglia.

Independent films are really not my cup of tea. I do however like Patrick Dempsey and I requested Flypaper based on the fact that I thought he wouldn’t sign on to do a crappy movie.  I’m not sure why I think that handsome men don’t make bad movies.  I realize that if I think about it for about thirty seconds I can probably come up with a hundred or more examples of when good looking actors went really wrong.  Ashley Judd however, has done some really crappy movies and that scared me a little bit before accepting this one.

Flypaper has quite a bit going on for a movie set all in one location and it has more going on during its 87 minutes than most week long miniseries.  I tried to go get a drink and come back without pausing the movie and was completely lost when I returned.  This is also not the kind of movie I would suggest watching when you’re tired or just don’t feel like paying attention.  At times it reminded me of Clue with the audience trying to guess who the real mastermind is.  Patrick Dempsey does an exceptional job of allowing Tripp’s neurosis to increase as the day goes on and he gets farther from his last dose of medication.  I enjoyed the convoluted movie and having Patrick Dempsey in it didn’t hurt either!


Flypaper is presented in an 1080p (2.35:1 ratio) that is fairly good although almost the entire movie is set inside the bank which has a lot of dark shades to it.  It is one of the most unusually decorated banks I’ve seen with dark gray wallpaper and no bright colors and yet the black levels are inconsistent through the movie.  There’s some light grain present but it’s not so bad that it’s distracting.  While there wasn’t a lot of visible DNR, I couldn’t stop looking at Ashley Judd’s skin thinking that she looked like a wax figure but none of the other actors has the same issue and that leads me to wonder if she just isn’t aging well.


Flypaper is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 sound with English SDH and Spanish subtitles.  Dialogue is clear and at a consistent level throughout.  Whether it was gunfire or explosions, this mix offered some nice directionality and more power than you’d expect from this kind of movie.  The music is also well balanced with the rest of the dialogue and effects.

Special Features  

There are a significant number of interviews that are not well edited.   They are interesting and the interviewer asks good questions but they are very choppy and the interviewer is not miked.  The Blu ray contains interviews with Patrick Dempsey (Tripp) , Ashley Judd (Kaitlin), Mekhi Phifer (Darrien), Jeffrey Tambor (Gordon), Tim Blake Nelson (Peanut Butter), Pruitt Taylor Vince (Jelly), John Ventimiglia (Weinstein), Matt Ryan (Gates), Rob Minkoff (Director), Peter Safran (Producer), Scott Moore (Writer), Steven Poster (Cinematographer).

The Flypaper trailer is also included on the Blu ray disc.

Final Thoughts  

Flypaper is a complicated but clever movie.  Both Patrick Dempsey (I’m sad to say) and Ashley Judd look a lot better on the cover than in the movie.  It seems like the years have caught up with both of them.  Patrick is still pretty handsome and definitely very charming and he was a very good choice for the role of Tripp in this film.   It’s a lot like Clue in that there are a lot of weird characters and you’re not sure who the bad guys are and what exactly the real crime is.  Comparing it to Clue just made me want to go watch that movie again!  All in all, I was surprised that I did enjoy Flypaper as much as I did.  With my short attention span though, I just had to learn that for every bathroom break and popcorn run I had to pause the movie or I would definitely miss crucial details.  In fact, I watched this one twice just to take in all the information.

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