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Lift movie review film summary 2024 Roger Ebert

Veteran director F. Gary Gray's new action movie "Lift" offers some pleasures but lacks character depth and realistic special effects.

F. Gary Gray, a veteran director, has a history of creating exceptional action movies such as "Set It Off" and "The Italian Job," and it is likely that he will continue to do so in the future. The film "Lift" follows the familiar premise of a group of con artists attempting to pull off a seemingly impossible heist, offering some enjoyment as the task becomes increasingly complex. However, the lack of depth in the characters, as written by Daniel Kunka, makes it difficult for the audience to become emotionally invested in their success. Furthermore, the special effects in the film often feel detached from reality, resembling a video game rather than a cinematic experience.

The plot centers around a team of high-tech thieves led by Kevin Hart's character, Cyrus, who must steal half a billion dollars' worth of gold bars from a commercial airliner traveling from London to Zurich. The film incorporates glossy aerial shots of European locations, including Venice, London, and Brussels, which fail to leave a lasting impression. Hart's portrayal of a roguish romantic lead deviates from his typical fast-talking persona, but the character lacks depth and fails to provide anything compelling for the actor to work with.

Cyrus has a history with Interpol agent Abby Gladwell, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who reluctantly recruits Cyrus and his team to steal the gold, which is being transferred to a terrorist group by the wealthy villain Jean Reno. The convoluted plot serves as a setup for elaborate mid-air stunts, with each member of the team having a specific role. However, the characters lack development, and the banter between them feels forced and unenjoyable.

Despite the cleverness of the heist plan and the tension it creates, much of the film's excitement comes from bland editing tricks such as sped-up sequences and montages. The repetitive nature of the action sequences becomes wearisome, and the film as a whole struggles to maintain engagement. "Lift" may be best enjoyed as mindless entertainment during a flight, providing a distraction without requiring much thought.

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