Coin Heist full movie review - Great Setup/Acting, But Fizzles As It Comes To Finish Line
There are enough things inherent in "Coin Heist" that it really shouldn't work. The plot is outlandish, the ending descends into schmaltz, and (at heart) it's a teen coming-of-age drama (not like there are any of those floating around these days).
However, despite all the unevenness and clichés, "Coin Heist" still manages to at least be entertaining due to the great acting and slickness of the setup.
For a basic plot summary (no spoilers), "Coin Heist" sees Jason (Alex Saxon) struggling with the reality that his father has been stealing from his high school's endowment, leaving the father in prison and the school in danger of shutting down. After a field trip to the U.S. mint, however, Jason's friend Alice (Alexis G. Zall), a hacker at heart and in skill, devises a plan to infiltrate the mint and print some rare coins that can be sold to save the school. The plan will only work, however, if they can also rope in organization queen Dakota (Sasha Pieterse) and outsider Benny (Jay Walker).
For the first half or so of "Coin Heist", I was invested in the characters and their mission. The producers do a great job of setting up the backgrounds of each character, and I really felt like they could be real high-schoolers. Sure, their mission is highly improbable, but that's what cinema is all about, right?!
The problem, however, is that after that roughly half-way point my investment really started to wane for two reasons:
1. The build-up to the caper was much more interesting than the caper itself; and 2. I felt that the ending descending into a bit too much hijinx and corniness for my liking. I realize this is a film directed at teens, so perhaps it plays a bit better to that demographic, but for an older viewer it seemed like a bit of a letdown to build up these great characters and then have them, in most cases, succumb to the tropes of the genre I was afraid would happen from the get-go.
So, while I can easily give "Coin Heist" a slightly-better-than-average 6 out of 10 stars here, I feel that it failed to take that "next step" into the greatness range due to its "running out of steam" in the latter portion. The target audience (teens) may disagree with me here, of course.