How hard can it be to perform a successful heist in the middle of a plane flight from London to Zurich? Not that hard, right? WRONG! It is tough. Just ask Kevin Hart and his crew as they attempt this impossible mission in Netflix’s upcoming action film, Lift.
Next year, Kevin Hart is leaving his comedy roots behind (kind of) and is leading Netflix’s next action/heist movie, Lift. However, if we are honest, we’re sure Kevin Hart will not be able to stop himself from adding a couple of hilarious jokes throughout the movie —and we are better for it! The highly anticipated action comedy is directed by renowned heist movie master F. Gray Gray. This makes us super excited to see Lift and what it will bring to heist films.
A successful masterful heist isn’t an easy thing to pull, but Netflix has high hopes for Lift, and so do we!
Who Made Lift?
Lift is made under the umbrella of Kevin Hart and Netflix’s multiyear production agreement, where the Hollywood star is set to produce and star in multiple Netflix productions. This collaboration has already proved its success with the release of popular films such as Fatherhood, Man From Toronto and True Story. Lift will be Hart and Netflix’s fourth collaboration and definitely not their last.
The action flick is helmed and directed by renowned director F. Gray Gray. Gray has previously directed multiple heist-based movies, such as Mark Wahlberg and Charlize Theron’s The Italian Job and the eighth Fast and Furious film, The Fate and The Furious. This film will be the first collaboration between Gray, Kevin Hart and Netflix altogether.
When and Where Was Lift Shot?
Lift was in production from February to May 2022. It was shot in various locations across Italy and Northern Ireland. The Northern Irish media has reported on the cast and crew filming in multiple cities, such as Belfast and Derry.
Who is the Cast of Lift?
Lift has an ensemble cast led by Hollywood comedy king Kevin Hart. It features stars such as Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sam Worthington, Vincent D’Onofrio, Úrsula Corberó and more. Let’s get to know each cast member a bit more to get a glimpse of what they will be adding to Lift when it comes out next year.
Lift‘s lead actor, Kevin Hart, is a comedy genius. The actor and comedian has been in the business since 2001 and has since delivered one masterful performance after another. From movies such as The Wedding Ringer, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Fatherhood, Kevin Hart has provided some of the best comedic performances.
He has also dipped his toes into action films with his work in Ride Along, Ride Along 2, and Central Intelligence alongside Ice Cube and The Rock. His past experiences with comedy and action will serve him well in his leading role in Netflix’s Lift.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw is an English actress who started her career in Shakespearean theatre. She played the role of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, which gained her a lot of critical acclaim. She then went on to play Octavia as Anthony and Cleopatra, as well as Ophelia in Hamlet.
She made her breakthrough on the screen in the British period drama Belle. She then starred in various popular projects such as Emma Watson’s Beauty and the Beast (2017), Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time (2018), and season 1 of Marvel’s Loki.
Sam Worthington is an Australian actor that you might know from a small movie called Avatar. Yes, that Avatar! Not so small, right? Sam is the leading actor in James Cameron’s biggest blockbuster movie and one of the most successful movies of all time.
He started his career playing minor roles on Australian TV shows. He got his first acting award for his prominent role in Somersault in 2004. He later got cast as the lead role in James Cameron’s Avatar as Jake Sully, a paraplegic US Marine. Sam has much experience with action films, including Terminator Salvation and Clash of The Titans.
Best known for playing the role of Wilson Fisk/ Kingpin in Netflix’s highly successful series Daredevil, Vincent D’Onofrio is one of Hollywood’s most talented actors.
D’Onofrio is a Primetime Emmy-nominated actor who played roles in projects such as Men in Black, The Cell and Law and Order. He is currently set to reprise his role as Wilson Fisk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starting with his role in Hawkeye.
A heist professional, the one and only Tokyo from La Casa De Papel, will join the Lift cast. Úrsula Corberó Is a Spanish actress best known for her breakout role in Netflix’s highly successful series
La Casa De Papel, also known as Money Heist.
Úrsula started her career on Spanish movies and TV shows such as Física o Química and Margarita de Austria. She later rose to international stardom with her role as Tokyo, a member of the heist team of Netflix’s Money Heist. We know for sure that Úrsula knows what she’s doing when it comes to heist films, and we cannot wait to see what she will add to Lift.
What Makes a Good Heist Film?
With all our talk about Lift, where it was shot, who is producing and who will be playing the lead roles, how about we talk about heist films? Lift is not the first heist movie ever made. In fact, heist movies are a very popular sub-genre in action films. The idea of getting a group of people to carry out an impossible mission that usually involves stealing something is appealing to audiences. It keeps them on their toes, allows them to root for not-very-good people without feeling guilty and makes for an excellent environment for endless twists and turns in the story.
However, it is not easy to make a good heist film. Let’s take on one of the best heist films ever made, Ocean’s Eleven and its not-so-great prequel, Ocean’s Eight. What makes Ocean’s Eleven an excellent heist movie but doesn’t work for Ocean’s Eight? There are many reasons!
A great heist needs a great team. And a great team needs a great leader. Let’s start with the leader. The leader of the heist is the mastermind behind it. They need to be intelligent and practical and leave nothing to chance. If the audience doesn’t feel confident in the leader, then the heist is unbelievable from the start.
The team needs to have different skills. Each one has to be there for a reason, and the audience needs to believe they are the best at what they do. No one is there for comedic relief or just because they look good. The audience must also have a story for each team member—nothing too detailed but enough background knowledge to help them understand that character and their motivation.
To execute a great heist movie, you need two different motivations. The first one is a general one. For example: Steal the money, get your share. And then a personal, more intimate motivation for each member, especially the leader. For instance, someone’s family member is sick, so they need the money to save them, or someone has committed a crime, and they need the money to flee.
The motivation doesn’t have to be a good cause. Still, a personal reason puts more at stake and keeps the audience interested because a team member with their own agenda is unpredictable. And an unexpected team member makes for an exciting plot twist.
The problem with Ocean’s Eight is that the heist plan made absolutely no sense. It had many plot holes, and as an audience member, you couldn’t really put your hand on what their goal was precisely. The heist creator needs to make a solid plan that contains every single move made by every single team member. Even if the movie or show is not showing all the steps, they still need to exist so that the viewer doesn’t feel cheated.
The viewer needs to understand the plan or at least feel like they do. Whether the plan gets explained by the end of the heist or as it is happening, if the audience feels like they don’t understand what happened, then the heist fails.
A heist movie is not easy to make, but it’s not impossible. With excellent writing, a heist can be perfect. And if we are honest, with F. Gray Gray at the helm of Lift, we have no worries at all!
When Can We See Lift?
Originally, Lift was supposed to be released on 25 August 2023. However, due to the SAG-AFTRA strike, Netflix has postponed the release until January 2024. Even though the film is ready for release, Netflix still needs the actors to help market the movie through interviews and red-carpet events, which they cannot do under the strike rules. We hope that the network comes with a fair agreement with SAG-AFTRA soon so we can get to enjoy all the interviews and shows again.
In the meantime, you can check out other great action films on Netflix. Or if you’re in the mood for a heist, Netflix also got those! La Casa De Papel or Army of Thieves can help you get into the spirit until Lift comes out next year.