The true story of a huge payroll robbery in Bolivia is revisited in a tough-fisted but inconclusive actioner and expose of political corruption, "The Heist." Though its strong characterizations are sporadically entertaining, the intricate story slips out of control by the end. It could give Spanish lingo distribs a run for their money however.

The true story of a huge payroll robbery in Bolivia is revisited in a tough-fisted but inconclusive actioner and expose of political corruption, “The Heist.” Telling the tale initially from the robbers’ p.o.v., helmer Paolo Agazzi (“The Day Silence Died”) loses focus when he shifts to the p.o.v. of an honest young police detective investigating the crime. Though its strong characterizations are sporadically entertaining, the intricate story slips out of control by the end. It could give Spanish lingo distribs a run for their money, however, particularly on ancillary.

Macho man Hugo (a well-rounded and believable Salvador del Solar) leads a band of makeshift thieves on a truck hold-up in the mountains. When the haul turns out to be beyond their wildest dreams, they agree to bury the cash in a coffin for a year until things cool off. The police chief puts two of his best officers on the case: clean-cut law student Adolfo (a blond Diego Bertie) and Hugo. With his cunning and secret political connections, Hugo puts Adolfo off the scent time and again but, helped by a sexy chanteuse, Adolfo brings the band to justice.

The Heist

Bolivia

Production

A Pegaso Producciones Audiovisuales production. (International sales: Pegaso Producciones, La Paz, Bolivia.) Produced by Ute Gumz. Directed by Paolo Agazzi. Screenplay, Agazzi, Fernando J. Leon R., Ruben Chacon.

Crew

Camera (color), Ernesto Fernandez; editor, Mela Marquez; music, Cergio Prudencio; production designer, Marta Mendez. Reviewed at San Sebastian Film Festival (Latin Horizons), Sept. 18, 2004. Running time: 126 MIN.
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