I usually associate the words “Netflix Original” with incredibly funny, heart-breaking or boundary-breaking television and movies. So, when a new Netflix original, “Coin Heist,” came along I was excited to see a movie that left me thinking about it hours after it was over. This movie left me thinking afterward – but simply about how it robbed me of my time.
Netflix has immense success with it’s originals, “Orange is the New Black” was viewed by 6.7 million viewers on the first weekend it was released and the first season of “Fuller House” was viewed by 7.3 million. “Coin Heist” immensely failed to live up to the precedent set by these other Netflix originals.
The movie stars two relevant faces to pop culture, making it obvious that the cast is attempting to appeal to a younger audience. Alexis G. Zall whom is a famous Youtuber and Sasha Pieterse whom was a former star in the hit show “Pretty Little Liars” are key components to the young cast; they performed with some spirit, but with a lack of real content to act with, it seemed they under-performed.
The main character, Jason, played by former “The Fosters” star Alex Saxon decides to help save his school when news breaks that his father, the headmaster, had been embezzling money from the school’s funds, leaving what was once a wealthy academy in a large amount of debt. Alex and three high school teenagers hatch a plan to raise $10 million by breaking into the U.S. mint and creating a set of unique coins that could be sold for more than their worth.
Alex very unoriginally befriends unlikely companions: a hacker, an athlete and a perfect student to help him break into the mint, each saving the school for their own respective reasons. The hacker is in love with Alex, the athlete wants to keep his scholarship, and the perfect student wants to keep the extracurriculars that had made her resume look so impressive. The movie seems to attempt a play on “The Breakfast Club,” where a group of unlikely students befriend one another for a common goal. This nod to”The Breakfast Club” is blatantly obvious and overdone.
Throughout the movie, the characters learn about themselves and deem what relationships are appropriate between one another. The film is incredibly unrealistic, as it seems unlikely that four students could plan a heist of such severity in a government building. They seem to face more persecution from the advisers at school than from the security at the mint.
In the end, the students are able to get away with making the coins and seem to be successful but are caught quite predictably after their return to the school dance following the heist.
While the movie lacked a believable plot and had exceedingly underdeveloped characters, I didn’t turn it off; it was just suspenseful enough to keep me interested throughout the whole movie. While the ending was predictable, the school was able to gain back some money in a morally acceptable way and the characters were able to learn lessons about life and themselves in a typical coming-of-age movie manner.
The person to blame for this travesty of a movie is the screenwriter, Emily Hagins, who conveniently was also the director. The idea behind the movie was solid; in fact, simply reading the bio of the movie is what drew me in, but the poor attempts at humor didn’t arise a single laugh out of me and the plot and character development were nonexistent.
I wouldn’t recommend this movie to anyone. It was a waste of time and was yet another coming-of-age, cheesy, plotless movie, joining the ranks of Disney Channel originals.