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LIFT (2024)

Release Date: 01/12/24 [Netflix]
Genre: Action. Comedy. Crime.

Studio: Netflix.

"Follows a master thief and his Interpol Agent ex-girlfriend who team up to steal $500 million in gold bullion being transported on an A380 passenger flight." 


The opening “lift” immediately dated itself with a decision to have the soul item be an NFT. A lackluster job to open the film only to have the objective be an obsolete “fad” as the film later calls out. 


When I originally heard about this film and saw Kevin Hart was in the lead role, practically playing the Ethan Hunt role, I was naturally skeptical of his take. After finishing, it’s safe to say my skepticism was valid as Hart is no Tom Cruise. Kevin Hart is going against type, being incredibly soft spoken in comparison to his general comedic offerings in the past. As the head of the team, Hart is clearly the lead but it’s really just his and Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s movie because the team aspect of the story is utterly lost in the commotion, the commotion that leads to an unsatisfactory sexual tension between the duo. One of the greatest team based heist films of all time is the Ocean’s franchise and more topical the original Mission: Impossible which starred Jean Reno who happens to be the villain here as well. I love some of these actors (Sam Worthington, Billy Magnussen, Vincent D’Onofrio) but they’re given absolutely nothing to work with and every single character arc seems only partially thought through with open ends littered literally everywhere. The tone is yet another factor the film struggles with, it’s comedic beats fall hard and the serious ones lack momentum so in the final result nothing comes off as substantial. 


Everything about the film feels overly manufactured and then chopped to unrecognizable bits before being forced to try to put the pieces back together in the editing room. This film is all over the place in terms of its attempt at storytelling and character development - nothing is accomplished within the 104 minute run besides squandering a talented cast. Director F. Gary Gray has accomplished a few times now the team-up action thriller with The Italian Job and The Fate of the Furious, but Lift is on its own desert island of incompetent. Scribe Daniel Kunka created the film that really brought John Cena out of the ring and onto the big screen with 12 Rounds, a film that if my memory isn’t crossing me was a good enough time but something between 2009 and 2024 caused something to go incredibly wrong during the writing process because it resembles something that was never entirely completed and instead went purely off the story outline. 


The heist came and went with an ultimate whimper. Affiliated with an overabundance of bland elements that combine to make an unremarkable thriller. From the way the title concludes, it seems fair to assume they want to make more and with this team on and off screen involved, I’d be more than okay forgetting everything to do with this “potential” franchise upon clicking on what the next suggested title is as soon as the credits start to roll.

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