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  1. Published on: 19/09/2018 02:00 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: A true story about a group of students constructing one of the most audacious heists in U.S history out a sheer boredom.

    I always try and go into films as cold as possible these days, as I get the most enjoyment out of seeing films in its entirety instead in snippets from trailers.

    In regards to this particular film, I saw one trailer and heard a fair amount of buzz from the Sundance and South By Southwest Film Festival's. That was enough for me to seek this one out.

    This is most certainly an interesting watch. The way it opens up was quite cool mixing in documentary and feature film styles. That as well as the strong character development in the first act hooked me in early on.

    After that I was just loving how everything was building-up and the reasoning for everything happening covered some topics that felt very current.

    With the humor working well and anticipation being quite high, I was expecting a white-knuckle ride of a final act.

    But I was sadly mistaken. It took a turn that I was not expecting. But it also managed still keep my interest as it managed to still hold it together with its themes. By the end, the whole tone of it almost felt haunting, quite dark and sad. Nevertheless, it still felt as intriguing as the first two acts. Especially with some neat twists at the end.

    The performances overall were pretty good. Evan Peters was an absolute star in this. After making a breakthrough by playing Quicksilver in the X-Men films, you can see the talent that this guy has. However, this felt like a career best for me as Peters showed real maturity and used his charm well with the strong script that he was given.

    His chemistry with Barry Keoghan was for me the aspect that sucked me in and get heavily invested with this story. It has been quite a couple of years for Keoghan, as like Peters he is certainly making a name for himself. In this, he did a great job playing the co-lead with Peters, gave a lot of innocence to his character and certainly played to his strengths.

    Blake Jenner and Jared Abrahamson also played their parts really well. I remember seeing Jenner as the main character in Everybody Wants Some, and he gave support and had a few nice shining moments in the second half. As for Abrahamson, while he was given the least to do out of the four main characters, he still did everything right when required.

    While the performance were certainly a big strength to the film, the biggest for me was the structure. It was directed by Bart Layton, who is known more for his documentary film-making. What he does in this film is something I've never seen done in this way. Layton and his team manages to make this film-documentary hybrid. It's based on a true story and the way they use the people from the real life story was quite cool.

    We have seen a documentary style used in small doses in various films in the past. But in this film both styles manage to walk hand-in-hand and still make a cohesive story. The closest I have seen this type of story-telling was in the brilliant sci-fi District 9. So in a way, this felt to me like a bit of a game-changer to genre film-making.

    I don't really any negatvies to speak of. So it just a matter on how strong and effective its strengths are.

    It has a solid amount of humor that never gets in the way of the main tone, and I liked the high energy it has in its pacing.

    I also liked how it makes fun of the heist genre cliches. It also manages to mess with your perception of things happening on screen. Layton does have history of doing this. In his most known documentary The Imposter, it plays with your perspective on things and toys with your emotions. This film does exactly that, especially towards the end.

    I think it's safe to say that I really liked this. The story is really interesting, goes over a lot of topics that are quite apt to cover at this time, the performances are great and of course the style of story-telling and the execution was very impressive. Even when the final act did not go the way I expected, it went down a route that I never thought of and just enhanced my views on the film.

    Evan Peters is the big draw and I hope this gives him a lot more roles that could make him a future Oscar contender.

    It will be interesting to see if other films try this type of story-structure in the next few years, or if it will just become a niche sub-genre.

    Rating: 8/10
     

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