There are many action thrillers out there where the makers pay a lot of attention to making the film more gritty and hard-hitting than the competition and hence there is a noticeable shortage of attention when it comes to the pacing and the performances. William Kaufman doesn’t make that mistake in The Channel, which he co-wrote with Paul Reichelt. With realistic action sequences and decent performances, The Channel stands out as a well-executed action thriller. It has elements of the heist sub-genre, but the sincere attempt to make the story work is what actually kept me hooked.
The Channel‘s plot revolves around two brothers, Jamie and Mic, who plan a heist with their ex-marine crew. The brothers are polar opposites of each other. Jamie has a girlfriend and a young baby, Joan, while Mic is a hard-boiled criminal with only chaos and mayhem on his mind. Their brotherly bond is the only common ground between them. Prepared to commit the robbery of a lifetime, the crew goes into the bank, not knowing that the police will be waiting for them when they come out.
Plot Synopsis: What Happens In ‘The Channel’?
It looked like just another day on the job for Jamie. Leaving his baby Joan with a babysitter, he left his house strolling like a kid in the park with no worries. Just seeing him, you would not be able to guess that he was going to join a crew of fellow ex-marines who are planning to loot a bank at gunpoint. On the crew is his brother Mic as well. While Jamie could pass for a regular working-class fellow, his brother looked like a thug. With a big bald head and mean eyes, he looked like he had killed someone. Jamie, on the other hand, looked like a calm man. He had a girlfriend named Ava to care for him, and he, in turn, was keen to be a good father and take care of the family. She had received a huge sum through a crowdfunding site for her daughter Joan’s surgery. The money was actually given to her by Jamie. Ava was aware of Jamie’s criminal activities but hoped he would eventually leave that path. In fact, she worked in the same bank which Jamie and his crew were going to hit next.
The heist went down as planned. The crew got ready with the necessary gear and hit the bank. They hit the jackpot, trying to walk away with 3 million dollars. They weren’t aware of just one thing: the cops were waiting outside to take them down. As soon as the crew gets out of the bank, they get hit by the local police and FBI officers. The crew ends up dead, except for the brothers and another man who lives but gets seriously wounded in the gunfire. Six cops have been killed, and Special Agent Frank Ross arrives at the scene to catch the cop killers at large. The brothers had to figure out an escape, especially Jamie, who had his family to look after.
Who Was The Rat?
Mic is in the mood to murder the guy who ratted the crew out to the police. There was simply no chance the cops would arrive that early. They had to know in advance about the robbery, which is how the FBI got involved too. Mic isn’t remorseful about killing the cops, as he saw the cops going in for the kill. According to him, the cops were not around to arrest the crew; they were out to murder them. Jamie couldn’t care less about his rationale, and even though he, too, wants to find the rat, his biggest concern is that they won’t make it out of the area alive. They were responsible for killing the cops, and Jamie knew that a nationwide manhunt would follow. But first, they had to get the wounded guy the help that he needed.
Meanwhile, Special Agent Frank Ross arrived at the crime scene and started to investigate the bank heist. He asked the bank tellers, which also included Ava, to tell him any crucial details they might remember. The bank was a small one, and he wanted to find out why it had such a huge amount in the vault. Here, Agent Mike Hays and Lt. Bauer helped him out. They reveal that they received a tip from a Vice officer who had picked up a man named Edward Smalls. Smalls was the one who had helped Jamie and Mic with the information about the bank’s cyber security, which is how they were able to rob it. Ross talked to Smalls about the details that could help identify the cop killers. Smalls told Ross that the men threatened him, which is why he divulged the information about the bank. He further added that the two men seemed like brothers, the younger one wore a locket, and the elder had tattoos with specific names written on them. Through the names, Ross was able to identify the brothers Mic and Jamie, and now it was just a matter of time before they were caught.
Why Did Mic Kill Nussy’s Brother?
While Ross and others were tracking Mic and Jamie, they were busy trying to find a way to escape with the money. They took the wounded man to a friend’s place. Mic suspected a man named Bill of being the rat. He wasn’t the one behind the failed heist, and Jamie knew it. Before Mic would take the rage of the bad day out on Bill, Jamie tried to set up a deal with him to help them ‘clean’ the money. The banknotes were easily traceable. They needed somebody to take the cash in exchange for clean money. This deal came at a price. Bill’s cleaner was gone, and Nussy was the only man in New Orleans that would touch such a hot case where cop killers were involved. Bill did warn Jamie that Nussy would take a huge cut meaning that for the 1.5 million dollars of bank money, he would return only 30 percent of that amount. Jamie was in a conundrum, but he knew he had no choice. Ava had seen Ross at the bank and came back terrified that Jamie would be caught. Seeing her so vulnerable and fearing that he would leave Joan fatherless, he decided to make the deal.
Mic didn’t know that Jamie had made the deal, which was a terrible one, according to him. He thought Nussy would oblige and take just a fifty percent cut, but when the money arrives, Mic is a little taken aback seeing the tiny amount they were getting in exchange for their ‘hard-earned’ one and a half mil. Jamie tried to explain that they had no other choice. Ross and other officers would be coming in soon and they needed the cash to escape. Seeing the argument and Mic’s demeanor, Nussy’s brother, who had arrived with the cash at Nussy’s behest, gave Mic an ultimatum and drew out his guns. Mic was a volatile man, and seeing himself getting disrespected, he shot Nussy’s brother down. Jamie had no option but to help his brother out. He had only one goal, which was to escape as soon as possible, but he couldn’t leave his brother behind. Mic killed Nussy’s brother, and Jamie had to then take care of the rest of the members of his crew.
‘The Channel’ Ending Explained: Is Jamie Alive?
Ava was on the verge of a breakdown when she saw Mic and Jamie involved in another shootout. She always knew that Mic’s anger would bring Jamie harm, but as they were brothers, she kept mum about the issue, and now it was getting deadly. She begged Jamie to leave Mic and think about Joan, who would have to grow up without her father if Jamie died. He finally saw that staying with Mic meant getting killed in unnecessary shootouts. He calmed Ava down and told her that he imagined them living on a small island near the Bolivian border. He stated that he would take the money and escape, then send help to bring them to the island. These sounded like pipe dreams to Ava, who was sure that Jamie would fall victim to Mic’s temper.
Jamie decided to part ways with Mic, knowing he was trouble. He had finally decided to listen to Ava, who was the only sane voice present. Mic is livid at Jamie’s decision and starts to blame Ava. A brawl ensues between the brothers, which ends with Nussy’s entrance. They had killed his brother, and Nussy wasn’t about to let that go. Nussy’s men abduct Jamie, Mic and Ava. Ross and his team receive the news about the shootout involving Nussy’s brother, and immediately, Ross realizes that it must involve Mic and Jamie. They had the bank money, which they wanted to clean, and something must have gone awry during the deal. Following this intuition, Ross headed towards Nussy’s place. There, Nussy had made plans to dissolve Jamie in sulfuric acid and make Mic watch his brother die a horrifying death. Jamie is tied up and helpless. Trying to calm Ava down, who was tied up too in the aftermath, Mic tries to bargain for Jamie and Ava’s lives and asks Nussy to just kill him, but fails. He’s about to pour sulfuric acid on Jamie when he gets a little too close to him, giving him a chance to escape. Jamie kicks Nussy, and Mic takes out the others. In the end, Mic shoots Nussy the same way he shot his brother.
They weren’t out of trouble yet. Ross was coming to catch them, but to everyone’s surprise, Mic asked Jamie to take Ava and split, although he did show up just moments later, killing the cops who were about to arrest Jamie. Ross and his team were just around the corner, and hearing the gunshots, they knew the brothers were near. Jamie sees that Mic will not stop the killings and decides to walk away, leaving his brother high and dry. He takes Ava and boards a bus. Ross shoots at Mic and asks about his brother. Mic, who loved his brother, Jamie, wasn’t about to give him up and told him one last lie before dying. He told Ross that Nussy had killed Jamie.
During The Channel‘s ending, Ross did find Jamie’s locket in the sulfuric acid, which convinced him that he was telling the truth. The crew that hit the bank was all finished. Every member was dead. Ava, who worked in the bank as a teller, was the last remaining suspect. Actually, Jamie had done a bank heist prior to this one and gave Ava the money for Joan’s surgery. Ross approached her, and they had a chat about fatherhood, and she gave him some pretty good advice. Ross’s intuition said that she was somehow involved but didn’t want to ruin Joan’s life. He thought Jamie was dead, but after a few years, he called Ava and Joan to come to the island near the Bolivian border, where he had been living for the past few years, just as he had promised he would.