American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
The opening scenes of "The Real McCoy" took me back to "Topkapi" and "Grand Slam" and "The Hot Rock" and all those other heist movies where a bank vault was subjected to high-tech manipulatins by athletic supercrooks. Unfortunately, those same scenes apparently took the film's authors back to the very same sources, since "The Real McCoy" recycles the same devices, not quite as well as the originals.
The film stars Kim Basinger in the title role, as a bank robber so clever and famous she's known, yes, as "The Real McCoy." But as we meet her she's just leaving prison after six years; she was double-crossed, it appears, by an old partner named Schmidt (Terence Stamp), who was responsible for her being trapped inside a bank.
Now all she wants to do is go straight and get to know her son. But it's not going to be that easy. Her parole officer (Gailard Sartain) is in cahoots with Schmidt, and together they hold her son hostage until she pulls one last bank job. The target, of course, is the very same bank she was trapped in the last time - raising the question of why, if Schmidt is to intent on robbing that bank, he went to all the trouble of foiling the last robbery, and betraying the very expert he now needs to pull off the job.
That isn't the kind of question that occurs to anyone in the movie, however, since they have apparently learned everything they know by studying other bank caper movies, none too deeply. The screenplay by William Davies and William Osborne is a dim-witted formula job, providing the bare minimum of plot and character as defined in TV crime shows made for those not paying full attention.