To sum this movie up, this is a heist film like the Oceans film series but without the charm. This movie like other heist films has twists and turns and in this particular case, they come in 2 varieties. The first is blindingly obvious such as when the characters are robbing a bank, and then they escape into the sewers; which was obviously what they were going to do from the beginning of the scene. The second type is the twists that are wildly confusing, and are thrown in in an attempt to try and make this film seem cleverer than it is, the end twist is an example of this, said twist undoes quite a lot of character decisions and makes you think, well why would such a character have done that then. So it’s quite easy to say that my main issue with this film is the script and the plot, with the only real way to enjoy this movie is to switch your brain off and not think about it too much. The acting, for the most part, is quite one-note and generic, with me not remembering even what the characters were called after seeing it, and the whole film just not being memorable. Unlike, in the much superior film, Ingrid goes west, O’Shea Jackson Jr brings no charm to the role, with his protagonist character never really being likable. 50 Cents character of Levi Enson is barely in the movie at all, and though there is one scene that tries to develop his character this scene feels oddly out of place, because up until this point in the film he’s barely been given a second thought. Then there is Gerard Butler’s character of Big Nick, which though being the antagonist of the movie even going so far as to say “we are the bad guys” in one lacking line of dialogue, is arguably the most likable character in the film. Butler’s character even has some funny lines in the film, and is even made vulnerable to the audience in a scene, where one is left to question are you trying to make the antagonist of your film likable? It would have been a similar issue if Andy Garcia’s character had been made likable in the before mentioned Oceans series. Despite this, we also see him as a terrible husband and as a manipulator, arguably he is the most fleshed out character in the movie and is the only memorable thing when the credits roll. Some of the cinematography in this film is pretty beautifully shot, with one scene in particular of Butler’s character Nick standing on a beach on the morning of the heist, and the visuals are quite stunning.The last thing I wanted to mention was Pablo Schreiber’s character of Merrimen, his character is poorly written his character’s motivations are at times puzzling and other times just head scratching. The final twist as I mentioned before completely underwrites his character and makes you think really as if I suppose to believe that. However much like Rosa Salazar, I think that Pablo Schreiber is a rising star, with him being able to elevate the stilted dialogue he is given.
To conclude this film is beautifully shot in parts, funny (unintentionally) in parts, with good performances from Schreiber and Butler. Whilst also being bland, generic, badly written and just baffling throughout, with one of the most pointless twists I’ve seen in a long time.
Reviewed by Luke.