The writer of Heist had a good idea, but could not figure out how to resolve it. As in he could not give it a good ending. And like I always say, you can give a movie a thumbs up if 2/3 of it is good, but make sure one of those thirds is the final act. I was enjoying this movie until the patently absurd ending and I suspect that that’s why it got a ‘limited’ run and relegated to VOD-land, they knew that they could probably return their money with the premise at that level but would probably lose it with major theatrical investment.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Dave Bautista work for casino owner Robert De Niro and when they find out that he’s laundering gangster money, they decide to rob him blind on the day that money from the Chinese mob is picked up. Bautista is sick of being a pissant nobody and Morgan has a sickly daughter who needs surgery paying for. The theft goes well, but their escape is bungled, they end up highjacking a bus and become trapped in a moving hostage situation. Stone faced Gina Carano is in pursuit and acting as mediator.
I was enjoying this film for the most part. The two leads, Dave Bautista and Jeffrey Dean Morgan are at once relatable and likeable on account of their on-screen chemistry and understated acting performances, a strong show from both. I mean I must admit to never having seen Bautista ‘act’ until this movie, other movies didn’t let him stretch his legs in that regard, now I only want to see more. The guy has presence. The same can’t be said for Gina Carano, who delivers even the most basic of lines with a dull, cyborg-like stodginess. It was really distracting to see Carano struggle with three worded sentences. Thankfully her role is limited, but conversely, so is Robert De Niro’s as we enter heavy ‘extended cameo’ territory here.
But he’s having fun and is very good at this scumbag villain thing, even though he doesn’t have to be – we’re all familiar with A-listers who show up in B-movies with their D-game, right?
And so what pushes this movie down from a seven to a six is the end, which requires the viewer to suspend disbelief at extreme levels. Without spoiling the movie, how do you get out of a hostage situation, if you’re the criminal? Some movies, like Metro (1997) have the bad guy use genuinely clever ruses that not only work but are plausible to the viewer. This movie on the other hand asks you to believe that on that one given day, the cops were extraordinarily dumb – and I have taken into account the corrupt element of the story with that observation – and that the De Niro’s man, also pursuing them, had the brains of God Almighty and could read the future and the minds of others.
Very bad ending. Unsatisfied.