A film that wasn’t at all on my radar, and I only just learned about, Lionsgate will release “American Heist” – an American-Russian co-produced independent action film directed by Armenian director Sarik Andreasyan, based on the 1959 film “The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery,” which starred Steve McQueen and was directed by Charles Guggenheim and John Stix.
The story: A New Orleans mechanic’s struggle to turn his back on crime is compromised by the unexpected return of his ex-con brother, who quickly gets him involved in a dangerous heist. James and Frankie were just teenagers when Frankie was convicted for shooting a cop, and sent to prison. Ten years later, James (Hayden Christensen) has finally put his life back in order. He’s seeking the financing to open his own garage when he starts to rekindle a romance with his ex-flame Emily (Jordana Brewster). Their future together is looking bright until Frankie (Adrien Brody) reappears without warning, entangling his brother in a dangerous bank robbery plot hatched by Ray (Tory Kittles) and Sugar (Akon), two enterprising criminals who make it clear that Frankie and Emily will suffer if James doesn’t go along with their plans.
The film made its world premiere last fall at the Toronto International Film Festival, and will open in USA theaters on July 24, via Lionsgate; although it’s been released on VOD today, June 19, 2015. So if you’re curious, and can’t wait for the theatrical, look for it on pay VOD platforms like iTunes and Amazon Video.