Review: Heist thriller 'The Vault' gets the job done

Freddie Highmore helps pull off an extremely difficult bank job in well-made, if familiar, bank robbery flick

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic

It's a mission so daring, so difficult, so preposterous that you might even call it... impossible

Yes, the specter of "Mission: Impossible" looms large over "The Vault," as does that of the "Oceans" films. But for a slick heist thriller, these aren't bad comparisons to have made, and the real crime would be if these predecessors didn't come to mind in a film staging an absurdly over-the-top, go-for-broke bank robbery.

Freddie Highmore, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey and Sam Riley in "The Vault."

Freddie Highmore ("The Good Doctor") plays Thom Laybrick, a young supergenius recruited by several top agencies in London for his golden smarts. He's bored by all of them. Enter Walter Moreland (Liam Cunningham), a shadowy figure who wants Thom to join the team he's assembled to rob the vault in the Bank of Spain during the finals of the World Cup, which also means Spain must get to the finals of the World Cup for the job to even be possible. But hey, dream big!

"What do I look like, Danny Ocean?" Thom asks, so at least "The Vault" has a little self-awareness. But then he joins the squad (Sam Riley and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey are among his fellow thieves) and from there it's all heist prep with plans, blown plans, set-ups, close calls and "the job is off!" meltdowns before it's time to do the damn thing. Oh and did we mention the vault itself is submerged in water? Of course, why wouldn't it be?   

"The Vault" operates on the tenet that is key to any good heist movie: if it can be built, it can be hacked. And where there's a will, there is a way. The scene, the setting and the characters are all familiar, but "The Vault" moves nimbly and efficiently through the motions. Consider this bank job a score. 

'The Vault'

GRADE: B 

Rated R: for language

Running time: 118 minutes

On VOD

agraham@detroitnews.com

@grahamorama