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The Eastern Echo Wednesday, June 12, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

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Review: Netflix's art heist film 'Lift' is a worthy watch

Kevin Hart's serious role of Cyrus Whitaker surprised the viewers, and it was a captivating heist movie with action and comedy all in one.

In F. Gary Gray's heist film "Lift," Kevin Hart portrays expert thief Cyrus. The film, which was written by Daniel Kunka, contains extravagant set pieces, such as a speedboat pursuit in the opening scene, and beautiful settings like Tuscany and Venice that make this film worth a watch.

Synopsis

This film focuses on con artist Cyrus, who is being followed throughout his art heists by Agent Abby Gladwell (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). Previously, he had a flirtatious relationship with Agent Gladwell, who is part of an agency called Interpol. When she needs his assistance to carry off the ultimate heist—stealing $100 million in gold bullion being loaded on a 777 passenger flight. That is when she tracks down Cyrus (Hart). In an attempt to have the best chance of finishing the dangerous task, Cyrus gathers his team from a variety of professions. This specific heist mission gives Cyrus and his team complete immunity for their past heists that broke multiple laws. The heist revolves around a comical villain named eco-terrorist Lars Jorgensen (played by Jean Reno), who plans to manipulate the stock market by buying half a billion dollars worth of gold bars from some mysterious hackers to interfere with the world's water supply.

Highs

In contrast to his previous roles, Kevin Hart demonstrates a more serious side of his acting, but the entire film also features some of his witty, sarcastic remarks. Several of the scenes had incredible action that was both intense and entertaining. Even though Cyrus feared this heist could be too risky, he gave his crew a chance for an escape, demonstrating his selflessness and compassion for his fellow team members. His persona truly made the movie come together; it added a touch of grace and demonstrated that he wasn't your average, egotistical boss.

The artwork that was up for auction represented the Mona Lisa in one of the comparisons, which made it an interesting piece of art. At the start of the film, there was an exciting speedboat chase. The team's hacker, Mi-Sun, was incredibly clever and resourceful. The presence of two female characters on the squad reinforced the idea that women are capable of intelligence. The squad in most heist films is typically made up entirely of men.

The pilot, Camila, added a sarcastic element to the film when speaking with Magnus the safecracker. Camila's ability to maneuver the speedboat and make her escape was impressive. Mangus brought the true humorous element of the film; his character brought joyfulness because he is one of the less serious of the characters.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw's (Abby Gladwell) performance in this film was outstanding. By participating in the theft and putting her life in danger, she displayed courage and stubbornness. One of the better parts was her in a combat scene with Kevin Hart; she was amazing. When speaking with Cyrus, her persona brought morality to life. She conveyed to him both her toughness and her compassion. This movie's action sequences were amazing, and the plot of planning the heist was captivating. This film's outstanding computer graphics made the airplane scenes come together.

Lows

This movie had a few negative points, one of them being that there wasn't much of a sense of fear in the beginning when fleeing the agents. The backstory of Cyrus and Agent Gladwell was briefly and ineffectively conveyed at the outset. At the beginning, their close relationship gave the impression that Agent Gladwell was seeking revenge. A scenario highlighting their past together and the reasons Agent Gladwell was so eager to capture Cyrus should have been included. If there had been this particular scene, it may have provided viewers with more context for their past as well as an understanding of what Abby saw in Cyrus.

Another low point was the villain Lars Jorgensen, who in a few sequences was the one making all the decisions, which is why he was so deadly. However, it didn't reveal much about how scary he was to the other art heist professionals. His men's control over the jet did not present as much of a threat because they could be quickly eliminated. Scenes like "Don't overmind the master thief Lars Jorgensen" ought to have been included more.

Verdict

This was an enjoyable and action-packed movie, particularly the combat scenes with Kevin Hart. Once more, his performance was unexpected because people tend to view him more as a comedic actor than a serious one. He had the opportunity to alter how his fans perceived him due to this role. This movie was a worthy watch, and it was number one in the Top 10 Movies in the U.S. Today section of Netflix.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Mariam Fakhreddine is a film and theater reviewer for The Eastern Echo. She has worked as a news and features reporter for The Echo for two years.