Directed by: Scott Mann
Written by: Max Adams, Stephen Cyrus Sepher
Starring: Dave Bautista, Gina Carano, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kate Bosworth, Morris Chestnut, Robert De Niro, Summer Altice
Directed by Scott Mann
With his daughter sick and needing an operation, struggling father Vaughn needs to raise $300,000 before the end of the week to pay off the medical bills otherwise his daughter will be removed from the list to have surgery. Asking his longtime employer, criminal casino owner Pope to float him the money, Vaughn is in tatters when his ruthless boss refuses. After a scuffle breaks out between Vaughn and Pope’s right-hand man Dog, Vaughn finds himself unemployed. After being approached by one of the casino’s bouncers Cox about robbing Pope, Vaughn agrees and they prepare to rob his former employer. Whilst at first the heist is a success, it soon backfires and the robbers find themselves hijacking a bus full of passengers in order to escape. With the police hot on their tail and Pope’s men not far behind, Vaughn will have to pull a rabbit out of the hat if he’s to survive, escape and bring his loot to the hospital in time to save his critically ill daughter.
Action-packed crime thriller HEIST opens up with Vaughn, Cox and Dante hijacking a bus before rewinding and showing the events what led to this particular point. The audience instantly gets a feel for the different characters and whilst we may assume at the beginning that Vaughn, Cox and co are the real criminals, it’s plain to see that the guys they are robbing from are corrupt, ruthless crimelords who wouldn’t think twice of shooting and torturing a traitor or a thief, no matter how little they’ve stole from kingpin The Pope. Played by Robert de Niro, Pope is an experienced gangster who rules his floating casino with an iron fist. He has a set of principles he lives by and he never makes exceptions for anyone. These rules and Pope’s wealth of experience have been passed on to eager right-hand Dog (V‘s Morris Chestnut) who’s set to takeover the empire due to Pope’s declining health. When we see Pope refuse an act of generosity to a long-term employee who appears to have done dirty work for Pope in the past, the character instantly becomes the bad guy who Vaughn and his merry men are compelled to rob.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan stars as loving father Vaughn who slaves over a blackjack table at Pope’s casino. It doesn’t take much to work out that his wages will nowhere near cover his daughter’s medical bills and makes you question what you would do if faced with the same predicament Vaughn faces? His cohort Cox, played by Dave Bautista, is an intimidating, volatile, hulk of a man compared to the smaller, calm-natured Vaughn and once they hijack the bus it’s Vaughn who must keep menacing Cox on a tight leash to prevent his explosive nature from escalating the trouble they already find themselves in. Former Strikeforce MMA fighter Gina Carano also stars in the film as police officer Kris who’s the first on the scene of the hijacking and becomes a port of call for Vaughn as he attempts to negotiate a safe passage for both his fellow robbers and their accidental hostages on the bus. Carano fits this character rather well and even gets to show off a little bit of her martial arts skills against pro wrestler turned actor Dave Bautista.
HEIST is an exciting thriller to watch with an unrelenting pace fuelled by non-stop action and quality performances from its leading actors. You can feel the energy burst from the screen and even during its quieter moments, the likes of Bautista, de Niro, Chestnut, Bautista and Carano make it an engrossing flick to invest in. With plenty of twists and turns, many of which I didn’t see coming, HEIST proves it’s more than your average action thriller. However, the end of the movie left me with a bitter-sweet taste in my mouth as although it wraps up the story nicely, it almost makes the entire movie feel worthless. Overlook this hiccup and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what this film has to offer.