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While the title may make this sound like a simple heist film, Robbery is much more than that, moving back and forth from a crime film to family drama with some nice twists in between.
We meet Richie (Jeremy Ferdman), a part-time thief who finds himself in debt with a very ruthless casino owner (a scene-chewing Jennifer Dale). Needing cash, and help as a thief because he really isn't very good at it, Richie enlists his dad Frank (Art Hindle) to help him out. However, the fact that Frank has dementia almost negates his knowledge of being a thief, he was one back in another lifetime, but it allows for a great storyline to unfold in interesting directions.
Richie meets a woman named Winona while trying to get help for his gambling addiction, which turns out to be loads of fun and not nearly the clichéd native woman with a gambling issue inserted into the story that it seems. The story takes a lot of different turns, but the gambling, Frank's illness, never seem to be a gimmick but instead important parts of the story that needs to be discussed.
Written and directed by Corey Stanton, his debut film, the film moves at a solid pace, building story and tension well, giving us some wonderful moments to digest while trying to keep things in perspective in terms of just who the good and bad guys are. The idea of Frank's seemingly five minutes of clarity from his dementia to help with the thefts is done flawlessly and doesn't come across as a cheap parlor trick.
The performances by everyone are solid, especially Hindle and Ferdman, who are really quite the combo as father and son. Ferdman plays off of Hindle perfectly while Hindle is very believable as a man who is both sympathetic in his medical plight as he is questionable in his morals concerning crime and his son. Sera-Lys McArthur adds some extra spice more than a simple love interest and Jennifer Dale is spot on as the evil and unflinching casino owner that haunts Richie and his future.
There is some great dark humor and wonderful tension sprinkled throughout this film and only in certain moments does it lag a bit, a few uneven plot points that the story could have done without. However, these moments are few and far between as Stanton's script is written in a way that doesn't allow too much time to be taken on any one moment, moving the story ahead while throwing some interesting wrinkles in to keep the viewer off guard.
A wonderful tale of family, addiction, crime and deceit, Robbery was a great film that will keep viewers interested right to the very end
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