Viewed – 04 March 2010  Blu-ray

Crime thrillers are one of the oldest sub-genres in the history of cinema.  That template reached its pinnacle in the late nineties with the seminal classic Heat, a movie that this bares more than a few similarities to.  Matt Dillon is a seasoned detective who stumbles upon a crack team of professional criminals following a daring bank robbery.  Although being investigated for his own questionable police work methods, he vows to apprehend the criminals, headed by Idris Elba’s swarve, experienced thief whilst also consiting of Star Wars’ Hayden Christensen, Fast & The Furious’ Paul Walker and rapper Chris Brown.  Yet when a newly released former member of the gang proposes a final job, suddenly everything the gang have worked for is put to the test.

This slick thriller, directed by newcomer John Luessenhop offers an energetic, stylish take on the age-old heist movie, and with solid work from Elba and Dillon, as well as a surprising Chris Brown (who gets a first-rate one foot chase scene), comparison’s to Michael Mann’s aforementioned thriller are inevitable and in many ways do the movie a disservice.  We haven’t got the scenery chewing class of Al Pacino or Robert DeNiro, and sometimes the movie tries a little to hard to be cool, with characterisation light at best and a few plot elements easy to predict.  Yet the action is well shot and exciting, the ensemble cast all enjoyable to watch (with the possible exception of the personality-free Hayden Christensen) and the r&b / contemporary rock soundtrack kicks-ass.  A worthy evenings viewing. 

Verdict:  4 /5

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