American Heist, the 2014 Heist movie directed by Sarik Andreasyan and written by Raul Inglis, is the story of James ( Hayden Christensen ), a young mechanic whose brother Frankie ( Adrien Brody ) gets released from prison, for a job he took the fall for. After reuniting, they go for one LAST heist.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEADS
Frankie’s two ex-prisonmates are also onboard with the mission. They are: Sugar ( Akon ) and Ray ( Tory Kittles ) ( which is clearly a reference to boxer ‘Sugar Ray Leonard’ ) the dominant of the two. Akon on the other hand is, how do you say, “in the movie “. James refuses the mission at first, not wanting to return to that kind of life, until Frankie admits that he mentioned James’ former lover, Emily ( Jordana Brewster ), ( who works as a police dispatcher ) to them. Not wanting any harm to come to her, he agrees. All while starting a new relationship with her. He also owes Frankie, since he took the fall for crimes his brother also took part in, but he didn’t snitch, he stayed loyal. Even with that, James doesn’t particularly care for him much anymore. He represents a part of himself he wants to stay forgotten.
Over the course of the film, James gets closer with Emily. Until, right before the heist, he breaks up with her. Knowing if he doesn’t she will most likely get in major trouble with the authorities, lose her job and probably spend time in jail, or get killed by either Sugar or Ray for knowing to much, that he may accidentally tell her.
James and the others plan out the heist. Their armed with machine guns and wear face masks ( no not what the governmont wants everyone else to wear these days, criminal masks ) to hide their identities. Once they get there, Sugar and Ray handle the vaults, while James and Frankie deal with crowd control. Frankie gets shot by the police, he can’t move. The three ( without Frankie ) take off after getting the money. James goes back into the bank to save Frankie.
Ray and Sugar make a run for it, even taking down a helicopter in the process. Sugar is killed at a wedding, guess he didn’t want to be locked up ( get it?) and Ray, likely not being able to think straight due to blood loss, didn’t take the chance to surrender.
He tends to his wounds. Frankie borderline knocks him out and uses him as a hostage, taking him out so that his brother won’t get arrested. Frankie is shot dead from a rooftop sniper. An officer takes him to an ambulance, after beating the officer up, he escapes. The officer with him, wakes up and informs Emily, who has been watching the entire event via live cameras. That’s basically how the movie ends, and it’s probably better that way. Otherwise, it would’ve stretched out for another 20 minutes, Emily would have found James, then one or both of them would probably be killed.
Overall, I’d say American Heist was a decent film, despite ocassionally having not-so-great dialogue and a few minor plot holes, it was decently acted and paced ( even with the drastic underuse of Akon ). One of the few minor problems I have with the film, would be the sound mixing, particularrly the gunshots. Often being so quiet they sound more like fireworks from two miles away then bullets. Overall, I’d give the film a 5.5/10
PS, happy birthday to Alfred Hitchcock