Lift Review: This Heist Fails To Lift

Lift Review: This Heist Fails To Lift

Lift struggles to deliver the adrenaline rush, offering an adventure that, while functional, lacks the spark to make it truly memorable.

Troy RibeiroUpdated: Friday, January 12, 2024, 11:32 AM IST
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Lift Review: This Heist Fails To Lift |

Director: F. Gary Gray

Cast: Kevin Hart, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ursula Corbero, Billy Magnussen, Sam Worthington, Paul Anderson, Burn Gorman, Jacob Batalon, Jean Reno

Where: Streaming on Netflix

Rating: 3 stars

In the crowded landscape of heist films, Lift attempts to carve its niche, but unfortunately, it falls short of delivering the excitement and ingenuity one would expect from the genre.

Despite its novel heist plan that elevates the art of thievery to new heights, director F. Gray Gray’s Lift struggles to deliver the adrenaline rush, offering an adventure that, while functional, lacks the spark to make it truly memorable.

The film revolves around a group of unlikely collaborators drawn together by the promise of five hundred million dollars in gold belonging to Jorgensen (Jean Reno), a ruthless banker secretly backing terrorist attacks to manipulate the stock market in his favour.

The team- comprising Cyrus Whitaker (Kevin Hart) -The Boss, Camilla (Ursula Corbero) – The Pilot, Mi-Sun (Yun Jee Kim) – The hacker, Magnus (Billy Magnussen) – The Safe Cracker, Luke (Viveik Kalra) – The Engineer, Denton (Vincent D’Onofrio) – The Master of Disguise, and Abby Gladwell (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) – The Interpol agent and Cyrus’ love interest, are supposed to steal the gold from mid-air. How they do it forms the crux of the story. 

At the very onset of the narrative, we realise the writing, with the use of jargon to make the film appear ultra-contemporary, appears to be its Waterloo.

“NFT” in the initial conversation of the characters is sure to throw off an ordinary viewer.  For the unversed, an NFT is a digital asset that can come in the form of art, music, in-game items, videos, etc. They are gaining notoriety now because they are becoming an increasingly popular way to buy and sell digital artwork.

Action-packed with the kidnapping of an artist and escaping in a high-speed boat in the first act to the fist-fights on an aircraft in the last act, the plot moves on an even keel, following a predictable trajectory for most of the time.

The story unfolds against the backdrop of a meticulously crafted landscape from the canals of Venice to the peaks of the Italian Alps to the banks of the Thames River, weaving together a narrative tapestry that is visually stunning. While the scenes are meticulously crafted - to enhance the overall cinematic experience, the film fails to build genuine tension. The action sequences come across as formulaic and uninspired.

Similarly, the film boasts the star power necessary for a blockbuster. Individually, every actor is earnest and delivers competent performances, but their characters are cardboard thin, the mosaic of personalities hardly shines. Comedian Kevin Hart, at the helm of this heist, seems like a misfit, and his on-screen chemistry with Mbatha-Raw is zilch. They lack the depth needed to engage the audience emotionally.

Overall, the film has ace production values. The cinematography captures the elegance of the criminals in action, and the pulse-pounding soundtrack amplifies the intensity of each scene, but unfortunately, the weak writing on numerous fronts disappoints the viewers.

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