The Heist

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Like so many of Pierce Brosnan’s pre-Bond films, The Heist (1989) is a lot of unpretentious fun. The Heist isn’t as good as Taffin (1988), as sleazy as Victim Of Love (1991) nor as unusual as Murder 101 (1991); to name but a few of Brosnan’s better vehicles of this period. If you came of age as Brosnan took over the James Bond franchise, as I did, it’s almost hard to believe that one of our favorite leading men did so many silly made for television movies.

The Heist takes a pretty formulaic premise about an ex-con who plans a heist to both clear his name and exact his revenge. Stuart Orme’s direction is competent and efficient, relying primarily on the charms of the cast to really carry this movie. The script for The Heist just isn’t up to supporting the kinds of stylistic inventions that have so often marked this sub-genre for distinction. For the most part Orme keeps the stakes feeling pretty inconsequential, which in my mind makes The Heist perfect for a double bill with After The Sunset (2004).

The Heist relies so much on the talents of the cast that, without them, there would be no way to engage this film even on a superficial level. Working alongside Brosnan there’s Tom Skerritt as the double crossing ex-partner, Wendy Hughes as “the girl that got away”, Robert Prosky as the affable compulsive gambler, Noble Willingham as the down and out security guard for the inside job, and Tom Atkins as the hard driven police detective. Just looking at these names is like looking at a list of the best character actors of the 1980s. I found Noble Willingham and Tom Atkins to be the most enjoyable to watch, though everyone was really good.

The Heist is fun, nothing more. It could have been more like Miami Blues (1990) I suppose, but there is something to be said for just watching a movie because it’s simply fun to do so. I might even put this title on our customer recommendations shelf at Viva Video so that everyone can see Brosnan’s disguise with his chicken hat and buck-teeth.