Skip to main content
film review

In Heist, Robert De Niro, left, plays a father who’s without the means to pay for his daughter's medical treatment, so he partners with a greedy co-worker to rob a casino. When things go awry they're forced to hijack a city bus.Sam Emerson

Heist is Speed without the speed. Oh, time is of the essence in Scott Mann's highly concocted rob-and-run thriller, but it's just that everything is dully routine, with characters much too composed in volatile situations to be believed.

Let's start with Jeffrey Dean Morgan's lead character, Luke Vaughn: This ex-army guy is a blackjack dealer who masterminds a daring gang robbery of his boss's riverboat casino, gets in a shoot-out, hijacks a city bus and gets chased by cops. Oh, and he needs to get the money to the hospital right away in order to pay for his dying daughter's operation. And yet he never loses his head – even his scene-stealing facial scruff never breaks a sweat.

Speaking of time running out, the casino boss (played by Robert De Niro, who knows The Score when it comes to a great heist film) is also on the clock, as he tries to make peace with his own daughter. There's good cops and bad cops and a guy in a beaver suit, and just about everybody loves the calm and collected hijacking-robber hero. Audiences will root for him, too, but it's all so hard to buy.

For plot contrivances, behavioural unlikelihoods and a general lack of urgency, Heist takes the cake but not much else.