This film is a misguided generational treatise on class, wealth and status. From the very first scene, you know where this is going to lead. Writer/ Director Seth Savoy peaks your interest introducing a group of bitter milennial malcontents looking to even the score with the wealthy. They play a game of take down the house, literally taking all of their valuables, smashing everything in sight and tagging acusatory messages on the walls.
The central figure is Lance, (Patrick Swarzeneggar), who innocently comes to stay with his cousin, Jack (Gilles Geary). Lance is the narrator who tells his story from his point of view. Jack promised Lance a job in acquisitions to help him pay off his college debt. He’s pulled into the gang led by Ellis (Alex Pettyfer) who is one mean son of a gun. The one woman in the group is Allie (Hayley Law) who is in a relationship with Ellis.
They report to Mel (Michael Shannon), the boss who pays for the take.
Shannon is a hard ass older version of these “kids” who doesn’t care that they don’t like him or even respect him. Shannon plays the no-nonsense boss who knows what he wants and won’t take any crap from them. He supplies the targets and lists of merchandise and knows how to flip it for a bundle. He’s super savvy and threatening which we’ve come to almost expect from Shannon because he does it so well.
Savoy, who wrote the script with Kevin Bernhardt and Jason Miller, structures the film around a set of 9 rules Lance notes as he goes along with the program. This is heist film, not unlike The Bling Ring, that was actually based on a true story. This one purports to have been true, but it is not. Savoy starts the film with a writer working on a book about their escapades. The Author (Lesley Ann Warren) is interviewing Lance about his experience with this group of ne’er-do-wells. This plot gets convoluted, especially when the pressure gets to All its and the boys, and they start getting on each other’s nerves.
Shot in and around Chicago, seeing those mansions. torn apart really hurts. But as you learn why each character is resorting to this to make big money, you almost understand. They’ve all felt they’ve been treated unfairly by the system. Some have huge college debt they can’t pay back because they can’t find a job in this widening economic gap between the haves and have nots. This is their way of evening the score.
The slick montage scenes of the destruction of the house over pounding music work reasonably well, but the story lacks any emotional attachment to the characters. Schwarzenegger looks good and you’re rooting for him, hoping he’ll find a way to keep his ideals in tact. But by the end, the movie lays as flat as Lance’s last rule.
Saban Films 1 hour 34 minutes R
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