Sam (Ed Speelers), Fordy (Will Poulter), Yatesy (Alfie Allen) and Rafa (Sebastian DeSouza) run a credit card fraud ring from their college dorm room, and are fairly successful. When they rip of a local career criminal however, the gang find themselves in debt that they could never have imagined, and must come up with a scheme to save their skins.
Plastic is based on a true story, and on paper, makes for some interesting reading, as the gang find themselves involved in a large and dangerous scheme. The trouble is that the decent grain of a story is let down by a messy screenplay and some very strange direction.
Alfie Allen and Will Poulter do fine with what they are given; Allen plays a character similar to the arrogant and overly confident one he played on Game of Thrones, and Will Poulter as Fody seems to be the voice of reason within the group. Ed Speelers, however, seriously over acts and does some badly timed running and shouting that let his character down badly. Sebastian DeSouza is a completely benign presence. Of course, some female power had to be brought into such a male oriented cast, and so Emma Rigby turns up as the lynchpin of the grand scheme, and love interest. Sadly Rigby chews her way through most of the scenery in the film, and forms little more than the clichéd WIJ (‘Woman in Jeopardy’), bringing no smarts, intrigue or even sexiness to the film. Yes, she’s in a bikini at one point, but there is a difference between vulgarity and sexiness.
Writers Julian Gilbey, Will Gilbey and Chris Howard seem to have binged out on every heist movie they could lay their hands on, and cobbled together a film filled with clichés, underdeveloped characters and yet more clichés. As director, Julian Gibley does nothing to sort out the clichés of the screenplay, and seems to have played up to them, while encouraging his actors to give more and more over the top performances. The final set piece/heist is interesting enough, but by the time we get to it, the audience is sure to have mentally checked out, and given up.
Plastic is a film that is based on a halfway interesting true story, but any fascination or suspense that could have been built through the film is allowed to trickle away. Poulter and Allen come off the best in a cast that is filled with over actors and clichéd characters. Plastic reminds us of the lessons learned with Oceans 12; pretty locations and a slightly clever heist do not a good film make.