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MOVIE | Netflix’s gorgeously shot heist film relies on clichés and a predictable plot


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Rated PG-13

A gang of ingenious thieves pulls off a double heist from a Venetian auction house, kidnapping an NFT artist and, during the distraction and chaos, stealing an original Van Gogh. With this fast-paced scene, Lift, directed by F. Gary Gray, opens with some promise. But the promise goes unfulfilled. The plot quickly becomes predictable, devolving into an unsatisfying story.

Cyrus (Kevin Hart) is the leader of the gang: fast talking and rule breaking with a heart of gold. His criminal ring includes the obligatory computer hacker, a master of disguise, a crack pilot, and a cracker of safes. All we need is a mustachioed English spy or Indian spiritual guru to round out the festival of clichés.

The good guys at Interpol (or are they good guys?) recruit Cyrus to catch the wicked Jorgenson (Jean Reno), a terrorist mastermind so evil that he kills his enemies with attack dogs. Abby (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is the Interpol recruiter. She and Cyrus have a romantic past, but she’s determined to stay aloof from his charms. She joins the gang, who are reluctant to accept this goody-two-shoes as one of their own.

Jorgenson awaits a shipment of half a billion dollars’ worth of gold to fund more mayhem and malice. Cyrus’ job is to “lift” the gold from a cargo plane while it’s en route from London to Tuscany. Can the good-hearted bad guys thwart the plans of the bad-hearted bad guys?

Netflix spent over $100 million on Lift, and it shows: The cinematography is beautiful, with sweeping scenes of London, Paris, Ireland, the Alps, and Italy. The special effects are believable, and the actors perform well. Too bad the producers couldn’t afford a better script. This movie is rated PG-13 for some bad language and suggestive content.

Innovative heist movies

  • The Lavender Hill Mob / 1951
  • To Catch a Thief / 1955
  • The Pink Panther / 1963
  • The Italian Job / 1969
  • Mission: Impossible / 1996
  • Ocean’s Eleven / 2001
  • Inception / 2010
  • Ant-Man / 2015
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story / 2016
  • Lucky Logan / 2017

Marty VanDriel Marty is a TV and film critic for WORLD. He is a graduate of World Journalism Institute and CEO of a custom truck and trailer building company. He and his wife, Faith, reside in Lynden, Wash., near children and grandchildren.


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