The Asphalt Jungle, a film about a master heist which could earn our characters the biggest score they’ve ever had, except that greed comes into the picture and betrayals and bad luck start to cause what would have been the perfect crime into a nightmare.
The films namesake is a term for the large urban cities, so much happens in the jungle at day or night, and that’s just the same for those living in the cities; it’s never quiet, good or bad, there is always something. This fits the theme of this film perfectly, we see that throughout the day and night our characters are plotting and carrying out their masterplan, to the point that each second is well spent; researching, inquiring, planning, with each person out for their own gain, as it is for most criminals. The criminals might sleep, but crime doesn’t.
The characters are all developed with their own ideals, their own quirks and personalities, but the characters Dix, our main character, and Doc, the mastermind, seem to connect on a deeper level than the rest. It seems obvious that there’s one reason why, trust. Maybe it’s because Doc, and old aged criminal mastermind has seen too many times what happens when trust is placed in the wrong person. Doc trusts Dix, Doc says Dix impressed him as a very determined man, and far from stupid. Doc has seen Dix act tough and calm, maybe this left an impression on him making him see Dix as simple, loyal, and tough, and all this led to him believing he could trust him. With all the betrayals going on, trust is the best thing that these two can have, even better than the score.
The film is set up in a three layer structure that I’ve not seen used lately. The beginning shows the characters meet and plan out everything to the last detail, leaving no stone unturned. The middle shows the plan being carried out. The final part shows the consequences of the heist. We see each character deal with his own problem after the plan is completed, what goes as pretty much the perfect crime slowly unravels in the face of injuries, betrays, greed, stupidity, and a little pride.
What truly sticks out is the fact that the perfect crime is perfect on paper, not in practise. Why? Because there is no such thing as a perfect crime when you have not got luck, Doc planned this crime out to the last detail, and everything should have gone perfectly. It doesn’t because you can’t foresee all variables, you can’t foresee sudden betrayals, unexpected failures of the equipment, and most of all just pure bad luck. No matter how perfect the plan is on paper, in practice it’s an entirely different matter. As Doc puts all these unfortunate events “Blind accident. What can you do against blind accident?”