“Hi Grandma, Grandpa… It’s me, Pete.”
‘Pete’, however, is actually not Pete. Giovanni Ribisi plays Marius, a con man who had until recently shared a cell with the aforementioned Pete. Pete’s grandparents — having been estranged from their grandson for 20 years — are unaware of the deception, and welcome ‘Pete’ into their home — and their bail bonds business.
Marius (as Pete) then begins to integrate himself with Pete’s unsuspecting family all the while running from his past: a past involving a particularly unsettling man, played by Bryan Cranston, who insists Marius has stolen money from him — money that Cranston’s character demands within a week. Even as he insists he is trying to help Marius, the con man looks anything but reassured. Distributed through this theme, the viewer is given a peek at Marius’ experiences in jail and history as a con man via flashbacks, and we begin to see his old life catch up with him.
A short scene with Margo Martindale utilizing an uncomfortably on point fox-in-the-henhouse metaphor, interspersed shots of Marin Ireland’s character holding a gun, and a rather humorous moment at the end of the trailer in which a cop seems to recognize Marius and he attempts to wave it off as ‘having a common face’ sets up intrigue for the story to follow.
“When a liar gets caught in a lie,” Marius says, “they build a bigger lie.”
The tone of the trailer is defined by the cheeky and rebellious soul beat of “Owe You Nothin’” by Robin Loxley & Jay Hawke, giving the trailer a sense of mischievousness despite the drama. Though the subject matter of the movie is not the sort of thing I might usually go for, the trailer delivered no small amount of wariness mixed with high stakes and suspicion, all performed by an excellent cast and directed by Seth Gordon — the man better known for Horrible Bosses — makes me inclined to see the pilot.
You can watch the Amazon pilot for Sneak Pete here.