Monday, January 9, 2017

Coin Heist Netflix Movie Review

Coin Heist (2017) 
Watch Coin Heist on Netflix
Written by: Emily Hagins, Elisa Ludwig (based on a novel by)
Directed by: Emily Hagins
Starring: Sasha Pieterse, Alex Saxon, Alexis G. Zall
Rated: TV-14

Four teens plan to break into the U.S. mint and steal $10 million dollars in an effort to save their high school.

The premise is thin, as are the clichéd characters. There's never any urgency or fear of failure, despite a few feeble attempts. This isn't a movie, it's an outline for a movie. Someone forgot to fill in the details for the character development and the twists in the plot. There's nothing driving this movie.
Skip it.


I liked the animated introduction. It's different and fun, which might be the high point of the movie. When Hodges's father, the principal of his school, gets arrested for embezzlement, Hodges decides to steal money to make everything right and save the school from closing. It's a silly plan, but I was okay with it. He recruits other classmates to help him. The high school hacker has infiltrated many technology companies, which is a bit of a stretch. If she was that good, someone would have hired her by now.
A football star uses his knowledge of car repair to create fake identification, operate coin printing equipment, and copy coin molds.
Hodges ex-girlfriend becomes the planner and undercover front. She really likes spreadsheets so the movie tells me this makes sense.

The plan is to damage the new quarter molds, while also copying them. Then they will break into the mint, make their own batch of quarters and then sell these rare sets to collectors. It seems like it would have been easier to just rob a bank.

After the set up, the movie needs to kill some time so it pairs off the team members into forced romantic pairs, the athlete and the planner, the hacker and Hodges. I wondered if it was going to channel '80s teen movies with the added thrill of a heist as they got ready for the school dance, but it lacked any heart or impact. A pair of mismatched romances would have fulfilled a trope, but this movie need something, anything. Much like the rest of the movie, stuff happens and you're expected to care.

This could have been more interesting if it delved into the setup. Where did they get the vans with company logos? While they have access to the school's costume closet, does the school really keep trade uniforms on hand with logos? These kids have limitless resources.

With no training they are able to operate the machinery and produce a batch of coins. This doesn't alert the guards, because they looped the CCTV footage. I guess this is really quiet machinery that doesn't even require training or setup. It only takes a few minutes to create coins.

Everything about this movie is uninspiring. Even better camerawork could have made this slightly better, or it could have been cut to provide a bit more urgency. They have to rush back to school in time for the dance, but you're never worried. Their biggest concern is a sniveling teacher that cares way too much about what these kids are doing. He's a cartoon just to add a little bit of drama that maybe they'll be caught, but the movie doesn't realize I stopped caring a long time ago. The ending has a twist, but my only reaction was wondering if this thing was finally over.

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