These guys are strictly small time. For some unknown reason, they even want to repatriate their money in cash back to the United States -- instead of leaving it in an offshore slush fund like all good Republicans.
After one of the crew gets killed in retribution, Jake invites a pickpocket party-girl Lily (Rachel Weisz) to join them in their new swindle to fleece one of the King's rivals (Robert Forster).
The ensemble cast gets rounded out with two Los Angeles cops on the take (are there any other kind?), who are described as "half as smart and twice as crooked," played by Luis Guzman and Donal Logue and another sleazy looking Fed with more dubious credentials (fake I.D.), played by Andy Garcia.
'Confidence' is a fun movie to watch because it celebrates America's greatest art form: the Scam. And even though America's prime export may be movies and/or weapons systems from the US Military - Industrial -Entertainment Complex, the Premier Scam of the USA is exporting the Cult of Consumerism disguised as "Democracy: to the rest of the world. And that has to be one of the best scams ever.
Of course, there are the inevitable comparisons between actors and con men and politicians. In a sense, they all "lie" for a living, yet only actors are supposedly "entertaining."
However, it should be remembered that America was actually founded by smugglers, slavers, pirates, and masons. (Masons even have their own word for deceiving the "profane". They call their scams "hoodwinking.")
This colorful early history of the United States is detailed in "Secret Societies of America's Elite: From the Knights Templar to Skull and Bones" by Stephen Sora (2003; Destiny Books). The publisher's website is http://www.innertraditions.com and the author's website is http://www.templarlegacy.com.
To paraphrase the scriptures -- In the Beginning Was the Scam.
The current Ruling Class of the United States likewise started in scams, which eventually escalated to such an extent that the American Empire now even pretends to rule the world. Sora's book is essential history about the origins of wealth and power in America and how this nation became a global player in the New (Under) World Order through good old-fashioned drug trafficking, weapons smuggling and a variety of corporate-government fraud.
But 'Confidence' is much more enjoyable than many of the other scam movies of the past, like 'The Sting', 'House of Games,' or 'The Grifters.' With great dialogue that out-mamets even David Mamet, the brilliant script by Doug Jung tells a fast-moving story with flair and style and just enough multiple flashbacks to keep the story moving right along to a great ending, a happy ending in fact.
Enhanced by the gorgeous cinematography of Juan Ruiz Ancha, the deft editing of Stuart Levy, and the stylish direction of James Foley, 'Confidence' makes the reverse engineering of a scam not only fun to watch, but helps anyone understand why fraud really is the All American Pastime.
And speaking of scams -- government whistleblower Al Martin, author of "The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran Contra Insider" ( http://www.almartinraw.com) writes in a recent column about the non-competitive contracts for the "rebuilding" of Iraq, "These contracts were awarded to Halliburton and Bechtel. The British and Canadians said it was a flagrant example of how the Republican Party panders to the American Military-Industrial Complex, who, in turn, support the Right Wing Political Cabal in Washington. They said they weren't notified of the bids, which the Bush administration previously promised to them. These contracts were simply awarded. They were no-bid contracts and the 'winners' were told to set their own prices. This is money that the American taxpayers are going to have to pay for; this is not coming out of Iraqi oil."
"Not only were these bids awarded to corporations which support the right wing cabal of the Bushonian Regime," continues Martin, "but George Bush and his family, Dick Cheney and his family, as well as all cabinet officers and their families, and over half of all sub cabinet level appointees in the Bush Administration have direct financial interest in these companies."
"This is a direct conflict of interest. The law says they can have no direct personal ownership. They get around this because they own shares through various offshore trusts. In Bush's case, it's through the Bush Family controlled Pilgrim Investment Trust. In Cheney's case, it's through the Cheney Family Foundation Trust in the Netherlands Antilles, which is secret. This is Crony Capitalism American Style a/k/a Bushonian Cabalism."
"Bob Dole's famed comments spoken during the re-inauguration dinner in 1985 should never be forgotten. Dole said -- "America, Land of the Naive and Home of the Provincial...Thank God!"
America really is 'One Nation Under Fraud.'
If you still don't believe that the USA is No. 1 in fraud, look at the "War on Iraq Scam." The Bush Crime Family prosecuted a war on a nation headed by a former business partner of George Bush, Sr. (Saddam Hussein) under the guise of "liberating" the Iraqi people. Essentially the USA delivers "democracy" through military occupation -- the same modus operandi as the old Soviet Union.
American self-deception is quite a wonder to behold. And those in the military who "fought" in Iraq?
They're just the Enforcement Arm of the Bush Crime Family and there's one word which fits.
Take your pick. "Suckers."
Meanwhile the gullible American-flag wavers swallowed it all. You can't beat this scam.
Maybe they'll even make a movie about it someday...