American Heist (2014)

(Video on Demand, August 2015) I actually wanted to like this movie, and I wanted to like it the way it was meant to be: a straight-up B-grade crime thriller, the kind of thing that follows likable anti-heroes as they rob a bank and try to salvage their audience sympathy along the way.  Unfortunately, American Heist is about as generic as its title suggests, with little to make the film in any way compelling.  There’s a bit of interest or two to see Adrian Brody show up, ripped, to play a tattooed career criminal.  It’s also interesting to see formerly-big actors such as Hayden Christensen and Jordanna Brewster pop up in relatively important roles.  Alas, that’ it as far as distinctions are concerned: the rest of American Heist plays like Generic Heist Film with few deviations from the template.  Worse yet: the film can’t pull off any kind of moment-to-moment interest beyond advancing the story further.  The dialogues, characters and events are all instantly forgettable and the picture soon blurs into forgettable mediocrity the moment the end credits roll.  There’s little to recommend it –especially since the heist sub-genre has produced some stellar examples of the form lately.  The Town this isn’t –and there must be another half-dozen heist films that are more instantly memorable than this one.

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