“How it started shouldn’t matter.
How things end, that’s what’s important.”
“Plastic”. You could call it a sort of “Ocean’s Eleven” with some whippersnappers. Apparently it’s based on true facts again. Yet it all seems pretty unlikely that a few pubescent boys can set up such a sophisticated system to commit fraud, involving extortion, hacking and setting up an ingenious plan with among other things a private jet and some cheap hired hostesses. There could be some truth in it but most likely the complete story is filled with exaggerated rumors and unverifiable facts so that the whole becomes a grotesque myth. Throw together a bunch of flashy-looking teenagers who resemble the cast of the “Beverly Hills 90210” series (except that the 90210 gang didn’t commit credit fraud since their mommies and daddies had sufficient cash), a portion of forced humor, some terrible renditions with embarrassing dialogues, some minimal action and a childish “Mission Imposible” scenario, and you have a perfect summary of “Plastic”.
The four “Robin Hood” -like youngsters, who enjoy being crooks besides their student life, are Sam (Ed Speleers), Fordy (Will Poulter), Yatesey (Alfie Allen) and Rafa (Dabastian De Souza). Sam is the founder of the group and the one with the biggest brains. Fordy is the co-founder of the enterprise and is a genius when it comes to computers and hacking someones mailbox.
Yatesey is the most unsympathetic member who actually causes trouble constantly. You’ll probably start hating him from the outset which is mostly required in these kind of films. And Rafa is the schmuck of the gang who constantly goes about looking dazed and apparently has no idea what’s going on. His task is limited in the beginning to copying credit cards at some gas station (later his role is of considerably greater importance). However, it goes wrong when they con a mendacious and dangerous Polish gangster and they are compelled to come up with a considerable sum of money in a short term. After this, the story becomes incredibly unlikely.
With none of the characters I had an affinity. The start was far from bad and it even appeared to become fascinating. The only thing I wondered in the beginning was whether these rascals had any relatives, what motivated them to lead this life of crime and how the hell could they keep clear of the authorities after seeing the pile of stolen credit cards. As the film progressed their interactions with each other and the way they communicated, became terribly innervating. The accumulation of clichés, coincidences and the used archetypes was a bit too much. The stunningly Frankie (Emma Rigby), who works at a credit card company of course, is required material to bring the beauty ideal to a higher level. It’s evident she appears, during their stay in Miami, in a super sexy swimsuit that leaves nothing to the imagination. The moment she strolls along the beach together with the four rascals, I got spontaneous flashbacks of “Baywatch”. The fierce gangsters are a cliche image of the Eastern European gangster : the well known dialect, total indifference when it comes to liquidations and an example of total stupidity during the real confrontation.
When the big scam began, it became downright ridiculous. The outcome was extremely predictable. And the denouement with the most laughable shootout ever seen, was too ridiculous for words. At that time, I was categorically sure you should take that “based on a true story” expression with a huge grain of salt. Was there anything positive about this movie ? Yes there was ! The interpretation by Graham McTavish as the arrogant jeweler and smarty-pants (and again it’s unlikely someone would take such a decision) was entertaining. And I appreciate Will Poulter (“We’re the Millers” and “The Maze Runner”) more and more as an actor. But in the end I thought it was just an artificial product: a plastic film, as it were ….