Tuesday 6 February 2024

REVIEW: Lift (2024 Film) - Starring Kevin Hart

Review by Jon Donnis (Warning: this review contains some spoilers)
"Lift" is a heist action-comedy film directed by F. Gary Gray and written by Daniel Kunka, boasting a star-studded ensemble cast led by Kevin Hart as Cyrus, the mastermind thief. The plot unfolds with a blend of high-stakes heists, witty banter, and unexpected twists, but unfortunately falls short of creating a truly memorable cinematic experience.

The story kicks off with Cyrus orchestrating two daring thefts: stealing a valuable Van Gogh painting in London and staging the fake kidnapping of N8, from a renowned NFT artist, in Venice. The crew's motive for the art heist is to use the proceeds from the stolen painting to inflate the value of N8's NFTs. However, their plans take an unexpected turn when Interpol agent Abby Gladwell, portrayed by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, uncovers evidence linking one of Cyrus's crew members, Denton (Vincent D'Onofrio), to the theft. Instead of facing charges, the crew is coerced by Abby's superior, Commander Huxley (played by Sam Worthington), to assist in capturing billionaire Lars Jorgenson (Jean Reno), who is plotting a massive stock manipulation scheme with the help of a hacking group called Leviathan.

The heist crew devises a plan to intercept a shipment of gold en route to Leviathan's bank, culminating in a thrilling mid-air heist aboard a commercial airliner. With the aid of Abby, the crew manages to divert the plane and incapacitate Jorgenson's henchmen. However, complications arise when Jorgenson accelerates the gold delivery, leading to a dramatic showdown that culminates in a crash landing on Jorgenson's estate in Tuscany.

While "Lift" showcases a diverse and talented cast, including standout performances from Kevin Hart and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, the film struggles to capitalize on its potential. Despite its energetic heist sequences and moments of comedic charm, the screenplay lacks depth, failing to develop memorable characters or engage audiences beyond surface-level entertainment. The film's formulaic plot, feels more like a product of algorithm-driven filmmaking rather than inspired storytelling.

Despite its flaws, "Lift" offers some fleeting moments of enjoyment, particularly for fans of heist films looking for light-hearted escapism. However, its reliance on genre tropes and lack of originality ultimately result in a forgettable viewing experience. With a disappointing score of 4 out of 10, "Lift" falls short of delivering the exhilarating thrill ride promised by its premise and talented cast.

Out now on Netflix.