Cleverly presented as your average, run of the mill heist film, director Luke Harris’s short The Heist delivers on far more than anyone would expect from it. We open on a gaudy mansion during a poolside lunch meeting with a Soprano-esque crime boss. Two well dressed and charismatic men are pitching him a seemingly impossible heist: to rob not just one, but all of the “joints” of a rival boss. When met with scepticism, our protagonists present their boss with their dream team, and it’s quickly revealed that this film is not actually about a heist at all.
The first characters that writers Kevin Tenglin & Dafna Garber present to us are somewhat expected: a getaway driver and an eccentric Eastern European bomb maker. Then, things start to unravel, as they present their “incredible tiny Asian.” For a brief moment, we’re left to quickly assess if this film is going down a problematic and potentially racist route. Instead, they prove that they’re going in a completely different direction: satirizing heist movie tropes. They introduce their “black guy with a Cockney accent” who is “from Cockney, where the Cockneys live.” They tackle almost every predictable element of heist films, from the line “Is that the best you’ve got?” to the antihero cop.
They don’t just stop there though. Tenglin and Garber dial up the introspection, broadening its attack on all popular films. The heist dream team expands to include the white coach of an underdog football team, the girl from a dystopian future, a hacker that says “I’m in!” and continues down the line of predictable Hollywood characters.
At its core, The Heist is an intelligently self-aware satire and a refreshingly comical analysis of the tropes within blockbuster films and the industry as a whole.