Think the Coen brothers can do no wrong? Buddy, if you want to keep that dream alive then Gambit is not the film for you. Come to think of it, this reheat (in the six-day-old battered sausage sense) of the 1966 Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine-starring caper isn't for casual punters, Cameron Diaz or Colin Firth lusters, either - even the more forgiving audiences of 46 years ago would've been up in arms.

After an opening credits sequence that explains a large chunk of the film and lasts longer than one of those arcane DART signal rites between Clontarf Road and Connolly (you'd get more suspense there, too), we're introduced to Firth's Harry Deane, a put-upon art expert with an ogre of a media mogul boss called Lionel Shahbandar. Shahbandar is played by Alan Rickman, who appears in one scene naked, but that's the least of his dignity worries here. Anyway, Harry is out to make Mr Big pay for his awful behaviour - to the tune of $12m. Harry's plan is to fool him into buying a fake Monet and to execute it he needs the help of PJ Puznowski (Diaz), a Texas cowgirl whose family history provides the perfect backstory for the painting. Cue bluffing, bickering and bungling. Lots of the latter.

Only the Coens' names appear on the credits as writers you'd never associate them with this fiasco, such is the yellow pack nature of the screenplay and its laugh-free radius. There's no chemistry between the characters, even less charm and the most exciting moment comes when Firth loses his trousers - a scene loaded with symbolism for Gambit's financiers. As for Diaz, her time here adds weight to the argument that she's more famous now for what she brings to the red carpet than the screen and you'd hope that the coming years will force her away - and more importantly spare us - from such non-event eye candy roles. The only thing flatter than her stomach is this movie.

The biggest hustle here isn't getting the moneybags to pony up for the forgery, but trying to fool members of the public into paying to watch. Make sure you're not one of them - warn friends, family, ex lovers and worst enemies too.

Harry Guerin