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Overall Rating

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Total Crap85.71%

1 review, 1 rating

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Heist, The
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by Jack Sommersby

"Lame Caper Flick"
1 stars

A cookie-cutter entry in an overworked subgenre that can't even get the basics right.

Pierce Brosnan is such a charismatic, appealing actor that it’s a shame he chose to participate in the abysmal made-for-HBO movie The Heist, which hasn’t so much as a single solitary fresh element in its ninety-eight-minute body. Handsome and witty in the television series Remington Steel, and having lost the opportunity to replace Roger Moore as James Bond in A View to a Kill due to contractual obligations on that hit show, he gave a mesmerizing performance as the deranged French anthropologist in writer/director John McTiernan’s cult-classic supernatural thriller Nomads; here was an actor with untapped dramatic depths and an intriguing presence, so it’s all the more disappointing that The Heist makes very little use of his considerable attributes -- Brosnan valiantly tries giving some girth to the puerile proceedings, but it’s a lost cause given the contextual bankruptcy surrounding him. He stars as Neil Skinner, who’s been recently released from a San Diego prison after a four-year sentence for having been convicted of smuggling some stolen emeralds; he knows he was set up by his previous business partner, Ebbet Berens (Tom Skerritt), so Ebbet could take over Neil’s part of their lucrative security company and steal his girlfriend Jane (Wendy Hughes). Actually, Neil wasn’t supposed to leave prison alive, for Ebbet had arranged a few attempts on Neil’s life that didn’t succeed, and isn’t exactly subtle about his intentions: he immediately charges into Ebbet’s office threatening reprisal, and starts casing the horse racetrack Ebet is providing security for, which has a five-million-dollar cash reserve Neil is determined to get his hands on. That’s about it for the story. Neil uses his past affiliations with the track’s employees for his caper, and Ebet takes countermeasures to ensure Neil doesn’t succeed, but there’s a dire lack of immediacy to it all -- we couldn’t care less how things turn out, so we’re made all the more aware just how shoddy the plotting and paper-thin the characterizations are. Skerritt, usually first-rate, is unaccountably weak, while Hughes is neither attractive nor sultry enough to function as a love interest; and none of the supporting actors can make much of anything given the gobbledygook they’ve been handed. The last thirty minutes involve the execution of the robbery, and it’s limply staged and imprecisely edited -- the director, Stuart Orme, whose first movie this after a string of practically-unheard-of television shows, does not, to put it mildly, have talent to burn. And it all culminates in a lame, easily-foreseeable twist ending. The virtues-deprived The Heist peters out quick and dies right there on the screen, resulting in a wreckage not even the always-welcome Brosnan can salvage.

The pits.

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originally posted: 03/27/15 05:22:29
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User Comments

3/29/15 Waldo Underwhelming entry in the genre with Bronson phoning in his performance. 3 stars
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  16-Sep-1989 (R)



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