Dead or alive, Elmore Leonard’s still got the best ear in the business. The late author’s dialogue sparkles in this perfectly fine double-cross comedy, an adaptation of Leonard’s 1978 novel ‘The Switch’. Actor John Hawkes earns a much-needed break from his onscreen creeps (see ‘Winter’s Bone’) as Louis, the film’s crafty Detroit criminal, and Yasiin Bey (better known as Mos Def) is excellent as his sidekick.
But this one belongs to the women: as a gold-digging mistress, Isla Fisher does half-smart expertly, while Jennifer Aniston demonstrates her underrated timing as a wealthy kidnapping victim turned confidante. Nothing about ‘Life of Crime’ is going to linger in memory, save the unassuming way Leonard devoted himself to character and story. If this works for you, seek out the books.