Plastic – Review ★★★★

Plastic Movie

Based on a true story, Plastic is the new film by director Julian Gilbey (A Lonely Place to Die), which sees a group of soon to-be unemployed economy students (mostly TV actors proving their worth on the big screen) facing a Mafia situation where they’ll have to plan the biggest diamond heist ever to pay their dues.

Sam (Ed Speleers) and Fordy (Will Poulter) are the minds behind a credit card fraud scheme, which takes from the rich to help pay their student loans and subsidize a comfortable lifestyle. Yatesey (Alfie Allen) and Rafa (Sebastian de Souza) are later additions, and more apt to play by their own rules. That’s why they take a briefcase from an old man in a parking lot, which happens to be the property of mafioso Marcel (Thomas Kretschmann). Marcel gives them two weeks to repay him with interests, and so the gang will have to use all their “plastic” (credit cards), brains and the help of smart barbie doll Frankie (Emma Rigby) to make the payment on time. Going to Miami where all the big spenders dwell, they end up orchestrating an international heist that will depend mostly on trust… but is that a good choice?

Well constructed, with a great rhythm and not a minute wasted, Plastic is what one wants from a good heist film. The fact that we are dealing with graduate students and not with smooth criminals gives it an element of freshness that goes well with its general unpretentiousness. The comparisons with Ocean’s Eleven are easy enough, but we believe it has much more in common with The Bling Ring, only with proper characters, an amazing mobster shooting scene and, of course, some kind of message. This is the kind of film that would never be approved in the fifties because of all its glorification of criminal life, and particularly because of the underlying message “they’re not hurting anyone”. And though we never find out what is Sam’s real motive to do what he does (although it’s suggested everyone else has a “weak spot” that can be explored into bringing them into the criminal life, it may be simply the case that Sam knows the system has no hope for him, so better be on its outskirts controlling the puppet strings.

A great action film with some genuine comedy to it, and yet another opportunity to see Alfie Allen playing a heartless backstabber, Plastic exceeds the expectations.

Plastic will be in UK theatres on 30th April 2014. 

Sara is originally from Coimbra, Portugal, where she studied Film Studies before moving to London to enrol in film school. Having made her first short film about her neighbour's chickens when she was 9 (a dystopian sci-fi, still her favourite genre), she is now a London-based film director and editor, and also a writer for the Portuguese Take Magazine. She is a huge fan of Lars Von Trier, Krysztof Kiéslowski, and David Lean.