A Supremely Well-Shot Entertaining Heist Film With Suspenseful Storyline
A supremely well-shot entertainer, The Pay Day is a perfectly pleasant film for those looking for a heist film, even though there are some stilted dialogues and scenes that drag.
The film follows a frustrated and recently-fired IT technician (Kyla Frye) who is charged by a crime boss (Simon Callow) to embark on a one-woman heist to steal valuable data worth $500 million on the black market. Like all good heist films, it's about people who feel neglected in society. Frye's character is being evicted, and she feels that the whole world is against her. This opportunity to steal data is her chance to make it big. When a suave conman (Sam Benjamin) interrupts her mission to steal the loot for himself, matters grow even more complicated.
The cinematography in The Pay Day as well as the casting are two of the high points. Frye's portrayal of a harried, desperate programmer looking for a way to make some cash is equally stirring and entertaining... though the film does focus on the latter more, due to the writing. This heist film sometimes wants to be a comedy and other times a romantic film, which makes it feel a little disjointed and somewhat like a series of sketches. For example, random flirting between Benjamin and Frye occupies 20 minutes of the film while Frye tries to extract files from a computer - whose, we don't know yet. Speaking of random things, there are a bunch of odd elements in the film that seem either implausible or infantile to the point of being ridiculous, like a scene where a character survives a shot to the heart and another with a stilted and suggestive exchange about pomegranates. It's largely the writing that makes the first half of the film drag, save for some scenes that really hit it out of the park. There are also tons of stereotypes thrown in, and some will make you cringe. For example a crime boss lounging with his cronies in a dimly lit bar; Pink Panther-esque background music; the typical green zeroes and ones speeding across the screen of a computer being hacked; and a scene where the protagonist sprints through sterile white walkways of every generic office complex.
The Pay Day promotes resourcefulness and resilience. There are some sexually suggestive scenes and discussions of smoking and alcohol.
I give The Pay Day 4 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST!
Reviewed by BandSAboutMovies4 / 10
The Pay Day
A broke and frustrated IT technician (Kyla Frye, who co-wrote this with Sam Benjamin, who plays her love interest of sorts) goes on a one-woman heist stealing data worth millions on the black market. Then she meets a charming con artist (Benjamin) who wants to take her money all for himself. Or her heart. Maybe both. There's also the villainous Gates (Simon Callow) who has put the whole scheme together and might just take everything from both of them.
The Pay Day may not make you forget any of the Ocean's movies, but it's a fun caper. Callow makes for an intriguing villain and the idea of cyber crime is timely enough to make this stand out.