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Kevin Hart’s Lift is so bad, it might make you want to cancel Netflix

Published Jan 15th, 2024 12:13PM EST
Lift is streaming on Netflix.
Image: Netflix

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I wish I had read the warnings about Lift before I watched Kevin Hart’s newest original Netflix movie. But even then, I think I would have wanted to try this Ocean’s Eleven-style heist movie. I was hooked by the Lift trailer. I thought Netflix might have something on its hands, with the potential of expanding it into a larger franchise. 

107 minutes later, I think Lift is a massive disappointment, an incredible waste of time, and the kind of original movie you’ll want to cancel Netflix over. Or at least add it to the list of growing reasons to ditch Netflix and run for the hills. 

Mind you, some spoilers follow below, but they can’t possibly make the Lift viewing experience any worse than it already is. 

I was one episode away from finishing Echo, Marvel’s newest MCU project that debuted on Disney Plus last week. The show was already better than I expected. I thought I’d take a break before the finale and inspected Netflix quickly to see what’s new this week.

When I saw Lift, I forgot all about Echo. That’s how much I wanted to see Kevin Hart’s new flick. Again, I did not read reviews or BGR’s own Andy Meek’s warning about how bad this Netflix original is

All I knew was that I love Kevin Hart and that I’d watch anything with him in it. Also, I’m a big fan of heist movies, and that’s why I made the Ocean’s Eleven connection from the moment I saw the first trailer. Joining Hart is an amazing cast, giving Lift the potential to become the next big action franchise in Netflix’s arsenal. 

But it didn’t take long to realize how bad Lift would be. How unexciting the plot would be. How transparent also, because you see the twists and turns a mile away. Or the missing plot twists that would have made it more exciting. 

Úrsula Corberó as Camila in the Netflix movie Lift.
Úrsula Corberó as Camila in the Netflix movie Lift. Image source: Netflix

The excitement quickly fizzles out after the first heist in the movie. A lot of effort has gone into shooting the film’s start in Venice. You won’t get similar settings in the rest of the movie. Then again, this is a heist that involves stealing $500 million in gold from an airplane. That’s where the main action happens. 

I hoped all along that it would get better. That we’d get more time with each character, again, Ocean’s trilogy comparisons come to mind. That Vincent D’Onofrio, Sam Worthington, Jean Reno, and Jacob Batalon, wouldn’t be just glorified cameos, whose combined talents are wasted in this one. 

I can’t care about their characters because the story doesn’t give me time to explore them. And forget about the villain here. Back to Ocean’s Eleven, Andy Garcia’s Terry Benedict should be an absolute model for these heist films. You start hating Benedict from Eleven through Thirteen. Jean Reno’s character barely gets any screen time.

I also hoped for more Kevin Hart humor. I get the actor is going for something else in Lift, but there is nothing wrong with wanting to play more serious characters. 

Unfortunately, the story is so bad here that no amount of lifting from Hart would have helped it. What I got was an entirely predictable, devoid-of-stakes adventure. 

I did like some of the action though. I thought Gugu Mbatha-Raw was an interesting choice, opposite Hart, and she is a highlight of the movie. 

Also, I was happy to see Úrsula Corberó in a different Netflix flick. But we’ve already seen Corberó play a key team member in a Netflix heist movie. What if Corberó played Mbatha-Raw’s role? We’ll never know.

Still, it’s not the cast choices that annoyed me here. It’s the incredibly dull, cancel-your-subscription-quality story. What saddens me is that I would have gone to see Lift in a theater. That’s how much potential I thought this story had. Thankfully, I didn’t pay for that ticket. But I do pay for Netflix, and I don’t appreciate this kind of original content. I’ll just add it to the growing pile of questionable content decisions Netflix has been making.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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