Leave it to a group of amateur robbers to try to steal precious artwork in broad daylight. Which is the basis of this entire film.
The tale is a true story about a group of four friends who attempted to rob a university library of its books (including an original edition of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species) in the oddest way.
The team consisted of Barry Keoghan (Spencer Reinhard), Evan Peters (Warren Lipka), Blake Jenner (Chas Allen) and Jared Abrahamson (Eric Borsuk). Their plan is rather simple: steal art books that are worth over ten million dollars, sell the books and live their best lives with the money.
Director and writer Bart Layton’s creativity with the film included the addition of the actual four friends who attempted to commit the robbery. He gets them to explain their decision to commit the robbery and relate how things eventually turned out for them once they were caught.
In this way, Layton highlights the different themes of toxic masculinity and the strength of peer pressure shown throughout the film that surround a bunch of young men. Some of them come from wealthy families, but still felt that their dream lives lay tantalisingly beyond their grasp.
By including the input of the original players, Layton manages to successfully separate this true-life film from other biographical films, mixing his re-enactments with elements of documentary.
He maintains an objective distance from his subjects. He centres his story on Spencer Reinhard and his journey as a freshman at the University of Transylvania.
We follow Reinhard from his attempts at joing fraternities to becoming the mastermind behind the unusual robbery, but his motives remain unclear.
Ultimately, the plan goes pear-shaped, despite all of the meticulous planning, and the four men are caught by officials. But, the film makes for a very suspenseful dramedy under the excellent stewardship of the director.