Michael Caine wonderfully portrayed Ebenezer Scrooge in 1992’s family film The Muppet Christmas Carol and now the two-time Oscar winner takes on another of Charles Dickens’ characters, Fagen, in Twist, the latest (unnecessary) modern adaptation of Dickens’ classic novel, Oliver Twist.
The 2021 action drama focuses on Twist (Raff Law, Jude Law’s son) who is a talented graffiti street artist and freerunner. After being chased out of his favorite museum because he was hassling the police for fun, Twist falls in with a bunch of street hustlers who work for an ex-art dealer named Fagen (Caine).
He’s initially hesitant to trust Fagen’s merry band of criminals, but puts those issues aside after quickly falling for Red (Sophie Simnett, Daybreak), another freerunner and the girlfriend of Fagen’s right-hand person, Sikes (Lena Headey, Game of Thrones). Without many other options, and being encouraged by Red to join the group, Twist decides to take Fagen up on his offer to become one of his crew. It’s not long before he is ready to help Fagen in a big art heist against Fagen’s former partner and current nemesis, Losberne (David Walliams, Murder Mystery).
Boring and passionless, Twist is a terrible, ridiculous, and insipid modernized adaptation of the classic Dickens story. It adds nothing fresh to the plot except an unimaginative heist-by-numbers subplot. The performances are one-dimensional and forgettable, including Caine’s.
Director Martin Owen (Killers Anonymous) seems to be trying to copy Guy Ritchie’s early style of filmmaking with the quick shots of London and the editing of the chase scenes and the heist – all of which look and feel like a shoddy knockoff. With horrible dialogue, unoriginal directing, and uninspired performances, Twist is not just a wasted opportunity but an insult and butchering of Dickens’ exemplary tale.
MPAA Rating: R for some violence and lLanguage
Release Date: July 30, 2021
Running Time: 1 hour 30 minutes