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review by Bobby Blakey

Kevin Hart is one of those comedians that has successfully transitioned from stand-up, which he still does, to become a major box office star. Despite box office success across the board, he has also teamed up with Netflix numerous times with films such as Me Time, The Man From Toronto, and the mini-series True Story. Now he is back again this time with Straight Out Of Compton and The Fate of the Furious director F. Gary Gray for the action heist film Lift. Could this be another fun addition to his filmography, or will it fail to reach its hopeful heights?

Lift follows an international heist crew, led by Cyrus Whitaker, race to lift $500 million in gold from a passenger plane at 40,000 feet. The film co-stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Vincent D'Onofrio, Úrsula Corberó, Billy Magnussen, Viveik Kalra, Yun Jee Kim, and Sam Worthington.

Kevin Hart has done a few action movies already as well as some dramas, but I believe this is the first time to get the two blended and a full-on serious action star role. Gone is the usual loud, silly and over the top antics of Hart and in its place a swag, cool character that you believe could be leading this band of criminals. While he might lead the charge this is an ensemble feature with each of them getting their moment to shine in the big heist.

All the cast do a good job with D’Onofrio being the only one underused and easily one that could have been the most fun to play around with. He s good with what he has to work with, but just not enough for me. The story itself is simple with a great heist to kick things off leading into a fun time before kind of popping all over the place and then falling into a somewhat predictable by the numbers film.

We all know Gray can make a great heist flick after Italian Job, but the tonal shift kind of takes it into a world more in line with Fast and the Furious style visuals

and action. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just felt like a missed opportunity on some levels of what could have been, but still a fun film. Hart does a good job across the board with it keeping the serious tone and even getting in on the action and carrying it well.

The end twist isn’t all that big of a surprise, but welcome to take it in the direction everyone is hoping for. I wasn’t expecting anything to break down the genre and found it to be pretty fun as it stands. It is the kind of film that you just jump in and have a good time. It lends itself to a franchise option as well which could be fun to see this team do some new heists, but who knows if it goes that far. It stands alone on its own as well so decide for yourself and check out Lift streaming now on Netflix.  

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