Director: Dan Bush
Writers: Dan Bush, Conal Byrne
Stars: James Franco, Scott Haze, Taryn Manning
Plot: Two estranged sisters are forced to rob a bank in order to save their brother. But this is no ordinary bank.
Running Time: 91 Minutes
IMDB Score: 4.8
Why I Watched It: The trailer looked weird and the cast seemed interesting.
Random Thoughts: This is an odd movie and it’s odd in a few ways, first off it’s a genre mash up and it’s kind of hard to review without giving things away and also the best actors are in it the least. Say what you want about James Franco but you have to give it to him you never know what he’s going to do next.
What I liked: I’ll try to trend lightly with spoilers here but it’s tricky the thing I like the best about The Vault is that it goes into different directions and there is one major twist that kind of changes the genre. I think that part of the story is handled really well and mashing up the two genres worked very well.
The story starts off with a bank heist and we think we know where it’s going but we don’t cause another element gets added in and that element is a slow burn and if you come in cold you won’t see it coming cause it jumps genres hard. The atmosphere and tone is very good in this part and it does make the story seem off, like we’re not sure whats going on. I was glad they did something different with the bank heist that turns into a hostage thriller formula.
The third act is well done and when the crap really hits the fan the gore is also picked up a notch. This films has two twists and I think the second one is really well thought out.
The acting is a mixed bag here so let’s stay positive for awhile longer, James Franco isn’t in it a lot and really he’s a secondary character but he’s good and he’s very understated. Scott Haze is also very good and I wished he was in it more, he does some good character work here with very little to work with.
What I Didn’t Like: The two performances by Taryn Manning and Francesca Eastwood almost ruined the movie for me. Manning is so over the top and she just grated on my nerves, she yells most of her lines and she truly gives a one note performance and Eastwood is just badly miscast. She’s is not convincing as a tough as nails bank robber and when she does yell or act tough it’s almost funny and it hurts even more when she’s playing off either Franco or Haze cause they have such a handle on their characters and for the most part being quiet.
The hostage part doesn’t work well for me and it’s because of the two actors named the other part of the film works more cause the people involved sell it well. I will say I have no idea why Clifton Collins Jr is in this film, he’s a good actor and he’s fine here but he has nothing to do.
This is another film that doesn’t know where to end, they should have ended it with the last twist but they do a tacked on ending that just doesn’t fit the rest of the tone.
Final Thoughts: If you recast the two leads I might have really liked this film, there’s parts I liked and I do think that director Dan Bush should get credit for doing something different with a boring cliched genre.