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Lift movie review: How is it that lame heist flicks like Kevin Hart’s latest are still greenlit?

Netlix's latest heist flick has Kevin Hart and his gang of thieves 'lifting' 500 million dollars worth gold mid-air from a commercial aircraft. 

Lift movie review: How is it that lame heist flicks like Kevin Hart’s latest are still greenlit?
Kevin Hart in a still from Lift

Last Updated: 09.01 AM, Jan 12, 2024


Lift movie story: An ‘elite’ group of thieves specialising in recovery of priceless stolen art, led by Cyrus Whitaker (Kevin Hart), teams up with Interpol to stop the machinations of a terrorist, Lars Jorgensen (Jean Reno), for which they have to ‘lift’ a USD 500 million worth gold payment and save lives. The gold, though, is being airlifted to Zurich, and Cyrus’ gang has to intercept it mid-air. Can they pull it off what with the gold under the watchful eye of Lars’ men?

Lift movie review: It’s become quite commonplace to come across a film/series led by a popular actor that will have you scratching your head in disbelief that a studio actually greenlit it to be made and blow up sh*tloads of money in the process. Kevin Hart’s Lift, which drops on Netflix today is one such – the plot is lame and its execution even more so. Chances are that you could be baited into planning to watch this one based solely on the cast this film has onboard, including Sam Worthington, Vincent D’onofrio, Ursula Corbero and Jay Reno, among others. Let me tell you that this is a hook that is better left unbitten.


Lift is barely two hours in run-time and yet, the urge to increase the playback speed cropped up every now and then. If that doesn’t tell you enough about how engrossing the narrative is, let me add that I nodded off a couple of times – this film just could not hold my attention. Unfortunately for me, these brief spells of shut eye meant that I had to go back and rewatch portions of the film, only to realize that I could have managed without.

The problem with Lift starts with the writing – a career criminal joining forces with law enforcement is a mission we’ve seen a gazillion times before. High-stakes heists needs a ring-leader and a merry set of people with particular skill sets, so Kevin’s Cyrus has a hacker, a pilot, a safe-cracker and a master of disguise in his party. When you have the Kingpin Vincent and Tokyo Ursula among them, it raises hopes, but turns out that they were meant to add weightage to the cast on paper, and not on screen. What a waste. Hell, even Jean Reno doesn’t get much to sink his teeth into and that’s criminal. I am not even going to get into the romance angle because the makers do need a serious lesson on creating onscreen chemistry. This just sucked.

A still from Lift
A still from Lift

You’d think that when such a cast has been assembled, the makers would also earmark a decent portion of the budget towards the actual making of the film. I was wrong again. There’s just so much green mat action and shoddy VFX that you know they’ve used a toy model to create the impression of a ‘massive’ plane landing on a short runway amid inclement weather and heaps of snow. They even managed to land a second plane on that same stretch to great success. I couldn’t help but laugh at that absurdity.

Lift movie verdict: There’s absolutely no saving grace in Lift, so, if you do have a couple of hours to spare and want something interesting to watch, the suggestion is to revisit any classic heist movie – just leave this be.


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