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Despite good cast, crime-thriller 'Heist' also steals the audience's time

Despite good cast, crime-thriller 'Heist' also steals the audience's time
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, left and Dave Bautista in a scene from "Heist." (Sam Emerson/Lionsgate Premiere)

As vapidly generic as its title, British director Scott Mann's "Heist" is a by-the-numbers crime thriller that squanders a decent cast, including Robert De Niro, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Dave Bautista.

When a botched riverboat casino heist forces the fleeing perpetrators to commandeer a half-empty commuter bus, they find themselves having to duck both the pursuing cops and the quietly menacing wrath of the casino's owner (De Niro).

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Those expecting another "Speed" can unbuckle their seat belts. This particular vehicle, previously known as the equally nondescript "Bus 657," crawls along an awfully familiar route, weighed down by the all the usual suspects.

Morgan, as a former casino dealer who needs the cash to pay his daughter's mounting hospital bills, and the imposing Bautista, as his loose-cannon partner in crime, do their best to create some much-needed tension, but the groan-inducing dialogue holds the rest of the cast hostage.

When the casino owner's disapproving estranged daughter (Kate Bosworth) chastises him on his career choices with, "Love is built on sacrifice, not dollars," the mournful regret that De Niro registers may have more to do with the decision to sign on for this hackneyed B-movie.

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"Heist."

MPAA rating: R for violence, pervasive language, sexual content.

Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes.

Playing: MGN Five Star Cinema, Glendale; Regency's Van Nuys Plant 16.

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