Duckling, You’re Not A Swan
Titled the way a roadside motel could name itself The Ritz (the French title, Bus 657, is spot on), Heist is all consequences with no cause to speak of, if you except Cancer Child, that is. I mean, come on, CANCER CHILD? This, ladies and gentlemen, is a feel-good movie disguised as crime caper, so know that no one will get hurt but spectacularly dumb villains, that all included support cast will act unexpectedly smart/brave/noble, and that Robert de Niro has super powers. Oh, and Cancer Child will survive to her much needed operation. What?!
Family here is both royal jelly, his secretive support and surveillance system dripping sustenance, and proletarian Jell’O, a compact morass, wobbly but unshakable. On one side Cancer Child, on the other Poor Rich Girl.
In the middle stands Robert the Niro, accomplishing any Italian American’s dream by playing a father and the Pope, ruling his empire (a steamboat casino called Swan) by crude rules, of which we are told three, a far cry from the Ten Commandments. Not in the Holy See yet, Bob.
Commenting on his e-smoke as if his main minion has switched flavour from menthol to sodium sulfate, Bob pouts a lot, wears a ring the size of a coffee table and a neck chain which he doubtlessly uses to anchor the Swan when he leaves the premises. On the side, he launders dirty Chinese money with clockwork regularity, which has never drawn attention to the police before but hey, comes to the Chinese, mafia and dry-cleaning go hand in hand, eh?
Us, the audience, are treated to a collage of scenes heisted from all kinds of superior movies, Ocean’s Eleven and Speed being the more obvious. Bob can stay cool smoking in a gasoline-saturated vehicle, he’s that good. Sweet Jesus.
The brainpower not allocated to plot reigns supreme on christening characters so there is no need to develop them. Around Pope gravitates Mr Tao (Mao, come on, too obvious!), Dante (who goes through hell) and Cox (who, well, sucks). More cryptic is Detective Bauhaus, or it is an elaborate joke at form over function?
33% action, 33% drama, 33% nothing and only 1% its titular genre, Heist is nevertheless aiming at getting the money. Yours.