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With: Robert De Niro, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kate Bosworth, Morris Chestnut, Dave Bautista, Gina Carano, Stephen Cyrus Sepher, Tyson Sullivan
Written by: Stephen Cyrus Sepher, Max Adams
Directed by: Scott Mann
MPAA Rating: R for violence, pervasive language and some sexual content
Running Time: 93
Date: 11/13/2015

Heist (2015)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Bus Flop

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Despite a high-concept idea and a good cast, this crime thriller (originally called Bus 657) feels somewhat half-baked and somewhat rushed. Heist (not to be confused with the David Mamet movie of the same name) might once have been promising, but it seems like something went wrong along the way.

Vaughn (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) works as a dealer in a high-stakes casino; his boss (Robert De Niro) hates to part with money and resorts to violence when necessary. Despite the cash flowing through the place, Vaughn can't afford to pay for an operation his little girl needs. When a disgruntled security guard (Dave Bautista) proposes a robbery, Vaughn reluctantly agrees.

It goes off without a hitch, but things get complicated when the thieves try to escape via a city bus and are spotted by a cop (Gina Carano). Things turn into a hostage situation, and tempers become frayed as more cops — and the casino's second-in-command (Morris Chestnut) — close in. Worse, Vaughn only has until 7 p.m. to get the money to the hospital to save his daughter.

As the casino boss, Robert De Niro faintly recalls some of his great gangster roles but somehow flatter, less relevant. A scene with Kate Bosworth as his estranged daughter seems tacked on to give his character depth, but it doesn't work.

Director Scott Mann has another opportunity to build conflict between the characters played by Dave Bautista and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, but instead, they simply yell and curse at each other throughout the movie; they have no connection. The former mixed martial artist Gina Carano could also have been an interesting character, but while director Steven Soderbergh used her well in Haywire, Mann can't get a believable performance from her. All in all, Heist is a dud — as evidenced by its generic title — and a waste of talent.

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