“Lift” was as any action heist movie is expected to be, but a few added surprise elements seemed to elevate it beyond the typical Hollywood formula.
Every heist action movie someone has encountered and will continue to encounter follows the same storyline, this did virtually the same.
Queue the action scene, lead with heinously unnecessary shows of wealth, travel to some European country, include a romance that will – without a doubt – start enemies and end lovers, then wrap it up with an intense action scene that anyone with regular human strength and bones could not survive. Maybe a few more displays of money, for good measure.
I learned many things in the hour and 46 minutes it took me to watch “Lift” and was pleased with the fact that while I could predict how the story would go, I did not suspect that there would be a high-speed boat chase less than 20 minutes into the movie.
To watch boats speed after each other was rather interesting, but I could not tell if it was for the fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen that, or that there was a masked NFT artist on the boat with the heisters – that is a real word – who willingly hopped on a boat with strangers.
And then there was the fact that the heisters successfully snagged a Van Gogh portrait, sold it, bought an NFT with the money, then promptly resold it for more. You have to respect the amount of steps they took for full circle profit.
I learned a little about stealing NFTs, which was interesting, but even more was the motive of the heist group.
You don’t often get a reason behind why thieves do what they do besides profit, but this group had an interesting take on the fact that the art they sell is already stolen in some other way.
“We rescue art from undeserving owners,” is a phrase that the main character, Cyrus, says. It is a roundabout way to say they steal art and resell it, but still a motive nonetheless. There’s an interesting art lesson embedded, as Cyrus goes on to explain that the ‘Mona Lisa’ painting was not nearly as valuable until someone stole it.
This is factual, by the way. In 1911, the “Mona Lisa” was stolen from the Louvre in Paris. According to the NPR article, “The Theft That Made The ‘Mona Lisa’ A Masterpiece” three thieves sat in an art-closet the whole night prior before scuttling out with the painting. Again, talk about commitment to the bit.
However, I do wish the movie had leaned more into their idea that they “rescue” art. It would have given a deeper meaning to the storyline. There would have been more intention with the characters, however I’m afraid they fell into the money-is-everything trap right after. I knew when a stack of gold bars became the movie’s central plot point.
Regardless, the heist group characters were still individual enough that they did not feel soulless or unnecessary to the storyline. My favorite was the pilot, and I enjoyed her generally relaxed nature.
And of course, the romance cannot go without mention. This enemies-to-lovers story between Cyrus and Agent Gladwell had history, always a nice plot choice. There were specific elements that were interesting to see, like the brief time they spent together before the falling out – Gladwell was undercover as an art curator, and Cyrus was undercover as a not-heister – and the chemistry seemed to build back up slowly after spending time together searching for the stack of gold bars.
Though the storyline was by the book, it was still entertaining and offered a little more than mindless action thrown about. Do I think being thrashed around a spinning airplane mid-fist fight was realistically survivable like it happened to be in ‘Heist’? Absolutely not. But that is the nature of the beast, or heist, if you are the gold bar type.