Review: Thieves and Robbers – Cane e gatto (1983)

Thieves and Robbers – Cane e gatto (1983)

Directed by: Bruno Corbucci | 101 minutes | action, comedy | Actors: Marc Lawrence, Tomas Milian, Billy Garrigues, Dan Fitzgerald, Bud Spencer, Joan Call, Raymond Forchion, Margherita Fumero, Don Sebastian, Darcy Shean, Christine Troples, Cristina Trotter

Bud Spencer is both a blessing and a curse. The actor has played the same role in the same kind of movies for decades. This is also the case in ‘Thieves and Robbers’, in which the wall-to-wall brute once again plays a gruff officer with a golden heart. Very easy going perhaps, but also touching at the same time. Spencer isn’t a great actor, but he realizes it himself. Hence, he doesn’t pretend to be anything more than a cuddly teddy bear. A little more variety wouldn’t have hurt it, though.

Bud plays detective Parker in ‘Thieves and Robbers’. The lobbes has to watch with difficulty as the sneaky petty thief Tony Roma ruins his holiday. To make matters worse, the mafia is after the villain. To prevent a bloodbath, Parker takes the stupid thief under his wing. En passant, the detective corners the pushy mafioso with a flat hand. Spencer’s oeuvre is easy to describe: slapstick humor combined with harmless violence that looks so fake that even the most inveterate pacifist can’t take offense. Bud whacks thugs on the head with a clenched fist and can wipe out entire armies with a flat hand.

Nice to see once, but if you’ve seen one Spencer vehicle you know them all. There is no discernible variation in the oeuvre of the sociable tyrant. The term ‘copy paste’ seems to have been invented by Spencer. It’s safe to say that Bud fans are never disappointed by their hero. You know exactly what to expect and get it.

You don’t have to watch ‘Thieves and Robbers’ for excitement or innovation. Cinephile gourmets can also safely forget about this Spencer. If you’re more of a McLooker, you’ll love the tasty, but not nutritious, Spencer menu. Just don’t look too much in succession, because then you’ll notice how empty the menu actually is. The hunger won’t go away.

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