Summer 2017 has seen two excellent heist films – Baby Driver and Logan Lucky – in cinemas, so it seems appropriate to celebrate a four-minute spoof of the genre. The Heist respects the popular formula while giving it a cheesy, over-the-top, meta-theatrical makeover.
In an interview email with Short of the Week, director Luke Harris stated:
I love heist movies. The ridiculous plots. The villains. The action. But my favorite [sic] trope is the “assembling of the team.” It’s usually a montage of stereotypes and clichés. We wanted to poke fun at this convention as well as point out other tropes that seem to constantly be re-used in Hollywood.
This love and intention is evident throughout The Heist’s simple premise: two con men are selling the biggest, boldest robbery in their careers to a mob boss. The hijinks do not progress beyond assembling a team, but what a team it is: the getaway driver, badass, and hacker are joined by a dystopian time-traveller, a street urchin, and a vampire-hunting/ghost-whispering/socially-conscious lawyer.
The film sets up an elaborate gag that sits somewhere between self-awareness and inanity, working with favourite stereotypes to lovingly lampoon the characters and scenarios behind beloved crime capers. All figures and plot beats are recognisable, and the swift pace and palpable relish with which each new larger-than-life trope is delivered to the screen makes for a brilliantly bizarre four minutes. Indeed, one thing that arguably makes Baby Driver and Logan Lucky such solid heist films is their identifiable character types, however fresh the stories may be. Seeing the whole roster assembled is ridiculously satisfying.
This short may not redefine the crime genre viewing experience but there is a clever touch, deft editing, smart and polished cinematography, and a palpable sense of fun on show in this short. Entertaining, light, and cognizant of its preposterousness, The Heist celebrates its genre with style, and its high production values and slick confidence make it a delight to watch.
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DIRECTOR: Luke Harris
WRITERS: Kevin Tenglin, Dafna Garber
PRODUCERS: Mallory Gordon, Chelsea Larner, Chris Abernathy
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Sean McDaniel
EDITOR: Kevin Clark
CASTING DIRECTOR: Susan Deming
FIRST ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Chris Abernathy
ART DIRECTOR: Matilda Paulin
ART DIRECTOR FOR POOL SCENE: Ren Toner
SYNOPSIS: Two con men talk a mob boss into one final heist of epic proportions, backed up by the most over-the-top team Hollywood has to offer.