There’s no simple formula for making a great movie. If there was, everyone would use it. They’d just plug in a little of this and a little of that, slap it all together, and bingo bango cinematic magic. But if you walked up to me and pulled out a gun and demanded that I list some things I look for in a movie (which is a strategy I imagine Hollywood studios will turn to once they run out of things to reboot, remake, and re-imagine), I’d probably tick off the following things:
- Heists pulled off by extreme sports aficionados
- Starring Stephen Dorff and Natasha Henstridge
- Major plot twist that involves a neck tattoo
- Less than 85 minutes long, including closing credits
- Released under more than one title
- Contains Coolio doing martial arts
And so, it is with great pleasure that I introduce all of you to Steal, aka Riders, which features every item on my list except the last one, because the last one only happens in China Strike Force. The plot of Steal, in a nutshell, is as follows: Steven Dorff plays Slim Severin, a rollerblading, BASE-jumping bank robber who gets mixed up with crooked cops and a murderous pastor with a pompadour when he stumbles into $20 million in untraceable bonds, and Natasha Henstridge plays a detective who investigates him through a process that involves rock climbing races and fornication. Like all good investigations. Or, to put it another way…
Slim, Otis, Frank and Alex (three boys and a girl) form a group of snowboard and skate young bank robbers. They are known as masters of the runaway art. Slim, the thinking head hatched a plan for their final retirement: five consecutive burglars, in five days, involving 20 million dollars. But this time, they’re gonna have to face both the police – and the mafia!
Here’s my favorite thing about that description: Despite making little sense on account of it being written by an anonymous user whose first language does not appear to be English, it is the summary that appears at the very top of the movie’s IMDb page. As it should. I’m all-in on any project that introduces me to the sentence, “They are known as masters of the runaway art.” Which, I mean… he’s not wrong.
That happens during the opening credits. Steal is everything you’re thinking it is. Let’s discuss.