I didn’t care for the “friendship is magic” story but it was such a beautiful film to look at and the characters were so much fun. The world building is great. Each location has a distinct flavor, and I found myself pausing it just to take in the details.
This movie is fun from beginning to end. Alec Guinness plays a soft-spoken bank clerk stuck in a boring, routine job. He can barely contain his giddiness when he daydreams of pulling off a heist, and the performance is contagious. My favorite moment was a Hitchcockian chase scene involving a winding staircase on the Eiffel Tower in which the characters recognize the ridiculousness of their situation and start laughing uncontrollably even as their McGuffin slips away.
This lo-fi sci-fi is a welcome break from the sparkling, cgi-peopled spectacles of that genre. The movie has a tattered, lived-in feel instead of the usual sterile glass and steel. It is about workers instead of warriors. World building and production design do a lot with not a lot of money.