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Friday, November 10, 2023

A Christmas Heist 2023 * 1/2 Stars


Watching 2023's A Christmas Heist, you get a strange, goofy Reservoir Dogs vibe I suppose, what with all the bank robbery and flashback stuff. Suppose is the key word because that's where the contrasts end. I mean there is a heist and the whole flick is told in past memory but it's all so lazy and uninspired, not neo-noir violent or witty or fresh, just doltish and playing for time. "Ho ho ho" humdrum I tell you.

Made on a shoestring budget, with weird camera angles, needless whip pans, and maybe 2-3 drab set locations, A Christmas Heist procrastinates ever so profusely (even at 75 minutes of runtime). Um, why does this film fail so badly trying to mix crime, heartfelt drama, and the funny? Heck if I know. And why have the proceedings take place during the festive season when they could've taken place at any time (or anywhere)? Beats me. Oh yeah, the title is A Christmas Heist. That's it.

"Heist" stars Thom Hallum, Tom Zembrod, and Lauren Molina, unknown actors that clearly needed the work. Otherwise no A-lister would touch such a jejune, "only looks good on paper" script dropped by writer/director Brett Bentman (Meteor: First Impact, Bull Shark). The premise is simple: Paul Wexler (Hallum) decides to steal from a financial establishment on X-mas Eve dressed in a Santa suit. But hey, things go wrong (don't they always) and Paul is trapped in said establishment with three weirdos until the cops show up via the sealed protocol.

"Heist", well it almost evaporates as you view it, having no reason for being other than to cheese grate the audience member into investing in a new angle via the plethora of tinsel movies that overload all things streaming. Yup, the acting is pretty bad, the look is fete, student film-ish, and the feel is hem and haw claustrophobia. Basically A Christmas Heist "stole" over an hour of my time. Natch.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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