Heist: Dull Heist Flick Fails to Take Advantage of Strong Cast
Written by Stephen Cyrus Sepher and Max Adams, ingenuity and common sense seem to be missing from Scott Mann’s unoriginal and generic low-budget thriller, Heist –and it’s a problem that not even the great Robert De Niro can do anything about.
After a seemingly violent intro, we are introduced to The Pope (De Niro in one of his sleepiest roles to date); a feared casino owner who rules over his business and his people with an iron fist, alongside his equally fearful right-hand-man and enforcer, Dog (Chestnut). Working as Swan Casino’s blackjack card dealer is Vaughn (Morgan); an ex-military man trying to earn enough money to pay off his young daughter’s medical bills due to her ongoing cancer treatments.
Faced with a deadline to come up with $300,000 or his daughter loses her spot in hospital, Vaughn finds himself embroiled in some funny-business with casino security guard, Cox (Bautista), who along with a team of robbers, is planning to rob the Pope.
With elements taken from other – better – movies such as Speed – there's a lot of time spent on a hijacked speeding bus – John Q and even Ocean’s Eleven, there’s very little creativity or vision in Heist – everything just feels very routine. The dialogue is poor – some of the lines will most definitely fall under the ‘some of the most ridiculous things said in movie history’ category – and the attempt of inducing any substance or emotional depth is quickly derailed by the story’s loose approach to reason and logic.
It’s yet another disappointing turn from the Oscar-winning actor, Robert De Niro – it’s becoming difficult to believe that this is the same actor who played Jake La Motta in Raging Bull or Vito Corleone in The Godfather – who once again sleepwalks through the motions of a ‘ruthless’ casino owner who is forced to mend burned bridges when faced with his own mortality. Morgan, on the other hand, gives a slightly stronger offering while everyone else, including Bautista and Carano, are as bland and flavourless as the very film that they’ve found themselves in.