American Heist (2014)

 Nederlands HierSummary
Two brothers, both with troubled pasts, find themselves in the middle of one last bank job.  Genre : Action

Country : Canada
  
Cast
:
Hayden Christensen : James
Adrien Brody : Frankie
Tory Kittles : Ray

Director
: Sarik Andreasyan



My opinion

“It was always me and you against the world.”


Are you expecting a good movie after seeing who’s playing the main roles, then I’ll warn you already now : This is a woefully bad movie. Adrien Brody, Oscar winner for his brilliant performance in “The Pianist“, and Christensen, who’s undeniably a virtuoso in handling a lightsaber but exhibits a présence that can be surpassed without a problem by Chewbacca, aren’t a guarantee for an enjoyable film. The movie poster on its own is an indication that it could be a faded B-movie. And despite the tattoos of those two guys and the use of a vocabulary after which an average rascal would turn pale, they nevertheless still look like two wimps.

The day Frankie (Adrien Boyd) gets released from prison, he returns to his brother James (Hayden Christensen), who now leads an ordinary life and works as a car mechanic. James and Frankie both have an extremely troubling past. Frankie just served 10 years of imprisonment. James tries to pick up the thread. He’s getting closer to Emily (Jordana Brewster) and dreams of owning a garage. Frankie wants to persuade his younger brother to start a business involving real estates. Afterwards James comes to the conclusion that again he’s involved in a suspicious affair where robbing a bank is the objective.


I’ll briefly numerate the negative points of this pathetic end result. First of all the performances. As I mentioned earlier, the two protagonists aren’t convincing. Only the moment Brody describes the miserable conditions in prison and defines a reasonable graphic image about the contacts he had with the other inmates (whereby a tube of toothpaste was a necessary tool in those circumstances), you saw briefly a glimpse of the capacities Brody possesses as an actor. Only this scene was a bit messed up by Christensen who doesn’t exactly know how to react to this confession, and therefor just looks a little dazed. Incidentally, he uses that look constantly throughout the whole movie : that dazed look where it seems as if he could burst out into tears any moment. And even if the two tough looking brothers use expressions like “fuck”, “Shit”, “Motherfucker” and “Bro” in their conversations, they still are and remain two dorks.

Also the two would-be business partners Ray (Tory Kittles) and Sugar (Akon who’s also a known hip-hop and R & B star) are ridiculous persons. They may have the attitude and looks that would classify them immediately as riff-raff. But when Ray starts to quote statements of Thomas Jefferson about how dangerous banks are (they are even more dangerous than the army) and that they’re going to start a revolution, they turn into two clownish wannabe gangsters. Brad Pitt’s rant at the end of “Killing Them Softly” was acceptable. That was clearly a socially critical message. And Dominic Purcell in “Assault on Wall Street” having a go at complete Wall Street, after losing everything that was dear to him, is also understandable. But Ray suddenly striking off a few political quotes is totally implausible. But then again, it fits here.

And then the story itself. This is put together so ridiculous and painfully bad, you need a painkiller afterwards because of your painful neck you got after shaking your head repeatedly. I still can’t understand how on earth James could believe the real estate story Frankie told him. Even though there’s an intense family bond, he’d better struck him with a crankshaft that was lying somewhere in the house. At least I would have done that. Especially if he’s the main cause why James has to endure a bleak and difficult existence now. No, he still teams up with his brother and ends up in deep trouble again. The bank robbery was so amateurish and illogical. The intervention of the police was feeble-minded, to say the least. They are handling the bank robbery and seem to have it under control, but the exit at the side of the building, they’ve overlooked. Then a gunfight starts and you are wondering if there’s even anybody who has any practical experience in handling a firearm. The final denouement is even more ridiculous.

If it was a low-budget film, I would forgive them. But if you look at the budget they’ve spent making this trifle, then you really wonder what it was used for. The wages of the two protagonists? The high-tech camera that was attached to an actor’s chest to get a close-up of his face? Or was it an expensive soundtrack made by Akon ? God knows. Yet one last advice. You want to watch an entertaining movie about a bank robbery ? I suggest you watch “The Bank Job”.

My rating 2/10 
Links : IMDB

American Heist (2014) on IMDb

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2 Comment

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  2. This was truly an abysmal movie with one of the worst plots I've ever seen in a heist movie. My favourite WTF moment was how James's girlfriend is a police dispatcher, which apparently makes her the gatekeeper to all contact between emergency services in the city, so she has her big moment where she decides to allow him to escape at the end by not relaying the message from the paramedic he hits.

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