To anyone who’s unaware of what Bitcoins are, the movie title sounds like some kind of Millennial Ponzi scheme that goes awry. While I have no interest and no “investments” in the online currency, I’ve read up on and know a crytocurreny investor, to vaguely understand the terminology in this movie. That basic level of understanding doesn’t stop BITCOIN HEIST from being silly, but even in that context, it’s entertainingly silly.
In 2020, Dada (Nhung) is looking to bring down some global bitcoin thieves who are manipulating the currency to their benefit. It’s a little muddled as to what exactly is happening in the beginnings because there’s a few hyper-violent moments and scenes straight out of a FBI raid-gone wrong. There’s a risk in telling the audience that bitcoins are popular because of how anonymous and secret they are, only to show the allegedly anonymous perpetrators being monitored by authorities.
Running out of options and desperate to take down a mysterious figure known as “The Ghost,” Dada enlists the help of an accountant, Phuc (Pham) working for “The Ghost.” Phuc agrees to help for clemency and works with Rada to put together a crack team to help bring down “The Ghost.” The team is made up of computer experts, a quick-handed magician and a father-daughter duo who are experts at sleight of hand and expert gymnasts.
Because BITCOIN HEIST goes for about two hours, it’s clear from the get-go that there will be twists, turns and double crosses, especially when the heist arrives an hour before the movie is over. It doesn’t take too much away from the plot as long as you’re willing to suspend disbelief in the face of overwhelming logic. There are a lot of moments that generally work because of how well the actors feed off each other’s energy, while providing a wide scope of personality that makes them an enjoyable crime busting group, although that union won’t last long.
BITCOIN HEIST is tonally flawed; believing that it’s moments of comedy would be well-balanced against a self-serious backdrop of high-tech intrigue and underworld crime bosses that slit throats. The mountainous contrast takes us out of both moments, when BITCOIN HEIST becomes silly and when it becomes a gritty action film. It takes a while to ease into each tone because of how abruptly they flop between each one on multiple occasions. But once your senses adjust, your senses are rewarded.
BITCOIN HEIST is an exciting movie, moving at a brisk pace and not lingering on illogical moments and plot points too long. While it certainly isn’t the most original idea because it uses an unoriginal concept, bitcoins help bring new meaning to who’s controlling the criminal underbelly. As a whole, cinema has gone from Marlon Brando like villains that stroke a cat to the more contemporary witty computer nerd clacking away behind the computer screen. Both have their merits and intrigue.
BLU RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p HD Widescreen 2:38:1) The movie is wonderfully clear, but the night time moments are shrouded and thick darkness, masking characters and backgrounds.
Audio: (Vietnamese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) Everything is fine except for the action, which is cranked. It blasts through the speakers before quieting down for a mostly easy going film.