Lift, a thrilling heist film currently streaming on Netflix, has been directed by F. Gary Gray. The film stars famous faces like Ursula Corbero, Kevin Hart, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and a host of other skilled actors. Much like the concept of the Spanish series Money Heist (2017), Lift focuses on a gang of robbers trying to steal expensive artifacts and sell them in the black market. The team is hell-bent on gaining the right price for a piece of art from the dark web rather than just letting it be sold in any ordinary auction. It is their teamwork that helps them. They managed to succeed in their international art heists, and the expertise of every member adds value to the team. The wonderful cast of the film could, however, not stop the film from having an inadequate plot! Abby, the Interpol agent, joins the team for an unexpected heist to take down a mafia boss and attain his illegal gold, and eventually becomes a permanent member in the long run.
Cyrus Whitaker has been played by Kevin Hart, who is portrayed as the team leader of the heist team. His character steals the show with a strong presence of mind and determination to complete his quests. His determination can be compared to that of other significant heist bosses like the Professor in ‘Money Heist’ or Richard Pace in ‘The Misfits’. However, unlike these masterminds, Cyrus was not a Roninhood. We don’t know what he does with the money that he gets from the heists. The very calculative Cyrus was into selling the stolen art in the black market as he believed that people who can’t pay the right price for art shouldn’t be allowed to have them, and hence can rightly be given the title of an art connoisseur. He ensured that the art that the artist N8 had made was sold for 89 million dollars on the black market. He made certain that the art got the price that it deserved, and he was just happy to get a percentage of commission out of it. Despite being a thief, his honesty is reflected in the fact that he did not deceive the artist and paid him his fair share.
Cyrus’ dedication to his work has added multiple layers to his character, making him indelible in the history of onscreen heists. Even the protectors of the law had confidence in him that if nothing would work, Cyrus could be their last option to stop an illegal transfer of half a billion dollars worth of gold by a sought-after mafia member, Lars Jorgensen. When he was approached for the heist, he willingly took up the challenge, highlighting his undaunting courage and willingness to take up new challenges. Later, however, when he came to know of the associated risks, he asked other members of his gang to step aside so that they did not have to face the consequences, bringing out his true mark as a leader. The crew members, however, did not give up on the mission and decided to stand by his side.
Later, when he teamed up with Abby for the heist, he told her that he had never focused on rules but rather tried to do something that was offbeat. He was searching for answers that nobody ever asked and did not care much about societal norms. Later, while on the heist, he ensured that a proper plan was made to steal the gold. He divided the responsibilities among the members so that no confusion would be created. He took on the majority of the risks and ensured that he could act as a backup to any of his team members when they were in need. He does not waver from aligning the PSID when Luke backs out of the plan. He also does not think twice before taking charge of the aircraft and guiding Abby to fly it when Camila injures her wrist. He is seen trying selflessly guarding and giving a lot of importance to his teammates, which is a true mark of a team leader!
Gugu Mbatha-Raw has done justice to the character of Abby Gladwell, the sharp Interpol agent in the film. Abby had been trying her best to combat Cyrus’s heist gang and had been involved with him romantically in the past. She had tried to keep her personal and professional lives apart, but somehow both of them clashed, making her come face-to-face again with Cyrus, someone she had considered as an option previously (before knowing his real identity). She was seen chasing Cyrus for the abduction of N8, but later was instructed to do something out of the box by her senior, Dennis. She was asked to collaborate with Cyrus on a mission against Lars Jorgensen, who was about to illegally move half a billion dollars worth of gold from his bank in London to Zurich. Initially, she was reluctant to join hands with Cyrus, but eventually, after she got into the mission, she seemed to enjoy Cyrus’ company.
Initially, she tried to convince Cyrus for the mission by telling him that taking on the mission would provide full immunity for his group and that all the charges against them would be dropped. She, however, later portrays her hatred towards criminals, saying that once, when she was in school, the Hockney posters had been stolen. That was when she decided to grow up and fight against the people who were creating trouble in society. However, her risk-taking capabilities are showcased when she takes up the challenge to reassemble the PSID on the plane when Luke fails to show up. She also did not hesitate to fly an aircraft merely based on instructions from Camila and Cyrus. After she had undertaken the mission, it was clear that Abby was not afraid to take on new challenges or overcome her barriers. When she learned that Dennis had not supported her in keeping out the NATO jets, she immediately decided to resign and join Cyrus’ gang. This decision, however, portrayed her impulsiveness, an inability to maintain calm, and her difficulty in taking diplomatic decisions when needed. It is also possible that the attraction that she had felt for Cyrus during the heist was enough to draw her back to him, making her leave her perfectly respectable job and join a gang of robbers.
Ursula Corbero, in the role of Camila, has yet again proved that she’s a great fit for the role of a heister. She had initially played a powerful role as a heister in ‘Money Heist’, portraying a bold character (Tokyo), and similarly in Lift, she played the role of a pilot. Camila had supported the main mission of the film by flying a private jet, which would act as an escape route for the other members after stealing the gold. She was seen abiding by the orders of Cyrus and did not give up on the mission when she saw that the members had failed to get to the other plane on time. She kept following the jet till she finally got to meet Cyrus and Abby. Being an aircraft expert, she was responsible for making the final landing at Lars Jorgensen’s doorstep. Despite the rough landing, Camila’s skills in handling the aircraft managed to save Abby and Cyrus.
Denton’s role has been played by Vincent D’Onofrio. He has gained popularity for his appearance in other action movies like Men in Black and Jurassic World. He has been portrayed as the ‘Master of Disguise’ in Lift, who has gained the reputation of an acclaimed heister in the film. Abby is seen accusing Denton of several heists when he is captured by them, bringing out his notoriety in the world of law. After his capture, Abby also gets to promise his release in exchange for Cyrus’ help. Denton uses his usual skill of disguise to keep the cabin crew occupied, while Cyrus and the others carry on with their parts.
The character of Dennis Huxley has been played by Sam Worthington. He is Abby’s boss at Interpol and is seen ordering her around and making her do tasks that she is opposed to. He has been portrayed as an opportunist who will take any chance to gain a good reputation at work. He tried to use the heisters against a major mafia kingpin so that he could lay his hands on their gold. He is also suspicious of others, as he is seen telling Abby that he did not trust anyone at his workplace and therefore wouldn’t mind trusting a bunch of thieves with the 500 million dollars worth of gold. His opportunistic nature stopped him from helping Abby while she was on the mission. Stefano revealed to Abby that it was not Huxley who stopped the NATO jets from attacking them. Huxley deserved the blow to his face that Abby gave, and she decided to quit her job after knowing the truth. He was devastated upon finding that the gold that Cyrus and his gang members had handed over to him was not real! Later, Dennis’ selfish interests were exposed, as he was more focused on promotion after exposing the mafia’s misdeeds than trying to stop the ongoing illegal activities in society.