I don't want to encourage irresponsible drinking, but if you were to make a drinking game out of this film, I'd recommend drinking every time Kevin Hart says "lift".
Lift (2024) follows Cyrus (Kevin Hart) and his band of thieving friends, as they steal, sorry, "lift", expensive art pieces and various other things. We kick off at an art auction. Interpol has eyes on Cyrus and local police are in position, so nothing could possibly go wro- wait! Something goes wrong! Cyrus and his gang lift an NFT (technically, they buy it legitimately, but they have to lift a van Gogh to afford it...and let's not forget that they also lift the artist - N8, not van Gogh). Never fret though, Interpol Agent Abby Gladwell is on the case! She's watched the footage from the art auction, and after unnecessarily replaying one section four times, she's realised that Vincent D'Onofrio's use of a cane is "an act". She's got them this time!
Enter: Sam Worthington, A.K.A. Agent Huxley. He's an Interpol Agent who deals with more than just art. He's saving the world! But he needs Agent Gladwell to convince Cyrus to work for Interpol. Agent Gladwell is unimpressed. This is her chance to lock Cyrus up, once and for all! But Huxley is from a more important department and he needs Cyrus so that he can save the world from Jorgensen (Jean Reno); a bad guy, who is bankrolling hackers to do nefarious, murderous things, so that he (Jorgensen) can make a profit. Obviously the best way to stop Jorgensen, is for Interpol to hire a thief to lift the gold bullion payment, before it reaches the hackers. OBVIOUSLY.
Agent Gladwell begrudgingly tries to recruit Cyrus and he begrudgingly allows himself to be recruited - but only because she has evidence that he stole the van Gogh, and this job could make that all go away. So he's in! And so is his team! They begin to plan, and just as things are coming together, Jorgensen does something nefarious. Cyrus tells the team that it's okay if they don't want to go through with it. And we get a cute little recreation of that scene from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) (albeit, not as goosebumpy).
You probably know how the rest of this tale unfolds. It's Ocean's Eleven (2001), but with NFT's, AI Art and Kevin Hart playing George Clooney.
Throughout the film, in between the scenes where they plot to steal half a billion dollars in gold, from a plane, mid-flight, there is a romance plot between Cyrus and Agent Gladwell. Turns out, they've met before and they've had sex. Um, what? Why is she still on the case? Never mind that, he trusts her because they had sex for "a week". But Agent Abby is not having that! It wasn't a week, it was "five days". This bit goes on throughout the film. She takes great offence to the fact that he continuously exaggerates their casual-sex-relationship by two days. If she's ticked off by Cyrus, she should be really ticked off with IMDB, where the film description is, "Follows a master thief and his Interpol Agent ex-girlfriend ." I digress. She loves rules . He loves to break them. Except he's sweet and attractive to her, because he says things like, "I would never lift anything from anyone who doesn't deserve it." (Drink responsibly).
Pictured: Cyrus and Agent Gladwell.
I'll be honest: I wish they went without this entire part of the story. The romance plot adds a history between the characters and exists to establish that Cyrus trusts Abby. However, the scenes between these two are pretty uninteresting and the romantic sub-plot of good girl likes dangerous but kind-hearted felon is tiresome. I was bored during the flirting. It was boring. I'd like more lifting and less flirting please.
Visually, this film looks like most other action/comedy/crime movies. There are the standard establishing shots, plenty of speedy camera movement, and zooms to boot. I will say this, they've selected a very boujee font for the location names:
But points are lost for one of the worst green screens I've seen in recent years. I haven't included visuals, because they are spoiler-y, but when you reach a certain snowy runway, you'll see it...or you won't, and I am dead wrong.
I'm not going to lie, you can't think too carefully about this film, or you will find problems with the writing. There is one issue that I absolutely cannot ignore though. This team has a "Master of Disguises" in Denton (Vincent D'Onofrio). His disguises aren't great, but that's kind of the joke. The bigger issue that I have, is that Cyrus hires the same crew every time, and many of them have visible roles in their heists, but Denton is the only one who ever seems to have a disguise? Yes, he's the master of disguises...but the rest of the crew just seems to go in as themselves...so, why bother dressing up at all? It's all that Denton has to offer...Denton you are dead weight on this team, my friend.
I get the impression that the filmmakers were hoping that this film would be the start of a new heist-team franchise. Sadly, most of the members of this Cyrus' crew are kind of forgettable or uninteresting. I personally wouldn't watch a sequel, but with Kevin Hart at top-billing in Lift (2024), I wouldn't be surprised if Netflix found the views to justify Lift 2: Lift Harder.