Review ‘Way Down’: How to steal the impossible

If there is one director capable of mixing fast-paced action, intrigue, actors of different nationalities and fun, it is undoubtedly Jaume Balagueró. The director, responsible for other successful films such as Darkness ( 2002), Frágiles ( 2006), the REC saga and Mientras duermes ( 2010), among others, returns once again with Way Downthe story of an impossible heist at a time when Spain is living a historic moment. And what moment is that? Nothing more and nothing less than the triumph of the Spanish national football team in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. This will be the moment chosen for the coup of the century, the robbery of the Bank of Spain, a truly impenetrable fortress.

Movie Way Down (Jaume Balagueró)

Way Down Crítica

The Banco de España is completely different from any other financial institution. An absolutely impregnable bank. A real fortress. A bank that no one has ever been able to rob, of which there are no plans or data, nor is there anyone today who knows what kind of engineering was used more than a hundred years ago to build its vault.

Well, this impassable fortress is the objective that the protagonists of Way Down intend to assault at a time when all the cameras will point elsewhere, at a time when Spain will set its sights on the final of the World Cup in South Africa in 2010. To do so, they will recruit the brilliant young engineer Thomas Johnson (Freddie Highmore). He will join the team to help them crack the secret that will allow them access to the vault. The goal? To recover a small treasure that will only remain in the bank for ten days.

A plot more than seen but it works

The truth. This plot has been more than exploited in the world of cinema and television. The classic perfect heist. Films such as Mission Impossible, Ocean’s Eleven, The Italian Job and series such as La casa de papel have exploited this genre over the years. But it works. It’s true that Jaume Balagueró doesn’t offer us anything we don’t expect, but the film more than does its job: it maintains the intrigue until the end. The cast is completed by Luis Tosar, José Coronado, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Sam Riley, Liam Cunnigham and Emilio Gutiérrez Caba. The visuals and the scenery are outstanding. The aerial shots of Madrid with its Cibeles crowded with people watching the match and the scenes inside the Bank of Spain give the film a certain realism.

Packed with action and with a touch of humour, the director delves into the world of the heist without leaving out practically any cliché but cooking up something that entertains and leaves a very good taste in the spectator’s mouth. What’s more, he touches our heartstrings by turning one of the historic sporting moments experienced by Spain into another of the film’s protagonists. Balagueró thus recalls, as they attempt the assault on the Bank of Spain, the passion, emotion and joy of a Spain that was about to become the football World Cup champion. A more than solvent heist story but with Spanish nostalgia and a competent mise-en-scène. A film that does not stand out for its innovation in this film genre but that brings Jaume Balagueró closer to commercial cinema and Hollywood blockbusters.

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