The Heist has a curious history- released in 2013 here in the UK, when it passed me by (as I’d never heard of it until yesterday), it appears it was actually first released a few years prior, in 2009, which is usually a sign of a troubled production that a studio doesn’t know how to release (or even want to). These days, I guess this is where a streamer such as Netflix usually steps in, and an indication of how much things have changed in the past several years regards how films are distributed and how we access them. In The Heist‘s case, its troubled history was actually a result of its film company going bankrupt (like Dredd and Solomon Kane, it seems some films just can’t catch a break). As it turns out, sure, The Heist is not high art, or profoundly dramatic- its not even hysterically funny, but it is very pleasant, light-hearted and undemanding fun.
I suppose that The Heist is for heist movies what Space Cowboys was for space movies. Morgan Freeman, Christopher Walken, and William H. Macy play art gallery security guards who are horrified to learn that three of their beloved art works are being shipped off to Denmark thanks to a revamp of the gallery. Roger (Walken) spends most of his shifts standing opposite a painting called The Lonely Maiden; Charles (Freeman) is obsessed by a painting of a woman with a cat, and George (Macy) has a strange preoccupation with a bronze statue of a male nude. Aghast at losing these works of art that they are so deeply attached to, they marshal a plan to steal the artworks and save them from the Danish infidels (or something like that) so that they can enjoy them themselves forever.
Its daft fun, a very light-hearted caper that chiefly rewards thanks to the lovely performances of the three leads. There’s certainly a place for something as light and fluffy as this film, particularly in times such as these. Its a warm, life-affirming film that is possibly the perfect Sunday afternoon matinee. What’s wrong with that?
The Heist is currently streaming on Amazon Prime and is available on DVD/Blu-ray.