Netflix’s 2024 heist comedy film Lift is just your average crime thriller comedy, with high-budget production value and action sequences, a set of slick actors, but a plot that is terribly superficial. The new film has Kevin Hart playing the protagonist, Cyrus, who is a world-renowned art thief with an entire heist crew at his disposal. But as the situation would have it, Cyrus now has to switch sides and plan out a heist together with Interpol, as a bigger villain is about to cause massive mayhem. Like many other Netflix productions of this type, Lift is mostly fun to watch, even though you won’t remember anything about the film in a short while.
How does Cyrus get involved with Interpol?
Lift begins with our protagonist, Cyrus, arriving at an auction house in Venice, ready to participate in the bidding process. The auction is also simultaneously taking place in London, where many items to be sold are kept in safe vaults. Cyrus is connected to a team of other men and women via communication devices, and it seems like he has some very different plans for the day. The introduction of another character, Abby, who is a police officer in Interpol, makes the scene clearer, for Cyrus is actually an art thief who works with a crew, picking up pieces of art. However, the protagonist is different from any usual thief, as he has an upright ethical belief, claiming to only steal art from people who do not deserve to own it in the first place. Thus, the supremely rich Sterling’s auction house has now become his latest target.
A modern piece of NFT art being called for auction kicks off an elaborate heist next. Cyrus outbids everyone else and secures the NFT for himself when his hacker, Mi-Sun, triggers the alarms and creates utter chaos at the auction house. The London house is also equally distracted by this breach, and another member of the team, Magnus, uses this opportunity to access the vaults and break into them to steal Van Gogh’s self-portrait. On the other side, back in Venice, Cyrus refuses to leave the auction house without taking the NFT he had just bought, and he instead manages to take the artist, N8, along with him. Without anyone even realizing it, this is actually a kidnapping of the artist, but only for his own benefit. As Cyrus explains later, the value of any piece of art rises tremendously after it has been stolen and recovered, and so, by buying the NFT and then kidnapping N8, he manages to make the artist famous and, therefore, valuable. In the end, both sides make a ton of money through the art, and N8 does not mind the kidnapping at all.
However, Abby is definitely angry that the thief has once again evaded the authorities, having successfully stolen pieces of art. In fact, the two even had a romantic affair for a week earlier, and while Cyrus is still interested in the woman, Abby does not want anything to do with a burglar. She and her team manage to watch through the security footage of the auction and figure out that another man had been helping the crew, and this man, a team member named Denton, is soon arrested by the authorities. But the scene takes a turn when Abby’s boss at Interpol, Huxley, informs her of a concerning situation. A corrupt and wealthy man named Lars Jorgensen, who has made a fortune by funding terrorist groups across the world, is now planning to make money by hacking into dams and flooding cities. The hacker group he has been in contact with, Leviathan, only accepts payments through gold, so Jorgensen needs to fly the gold from his vault in London to Zurich, where the deal will be completed. Huxley wants Cyrus and his team to steal the gold for the authorities so that Jorgensen can be stopped and also to ensure his possessions are seized.
When Abby takes this mission to Cyrus, the man first denies working with the authorities since their moralities do not exactly match. But then the protagonist does not have too much choice either since Denton is already in police custody. Abby assures that if the team can pull off the heist against Jorgensen, then Denton will be released, and all charges against the entire team will be dropped immediately. Cyrus finally agrees, on the condition that Abby also becomes a part of the heist team, for he believes that taking her along will ensure that Interpol keeps its word. Thus begin the preparations for an impossibly difficult heist high up in the sky.
What is the heist plan, and how does it go wrong?
The gold that will be transferred for Jorgensen is to be carried in a normal civilian airplane in order to avoid any suspicion, and so the heist cannot really take place on the ground since there would be multiple security breaches. Thus, Cyrus decides to take away the gold in the air mid-flight by getting access to the plane and landing it somewhere else. But in order to do this and avoid any attention from the authorities, the team has to fly a different private jet close to the plane in order to switch the radar signatures and make it seem like the flight is still on its correct path. Looking for a private jet that would fit the bill, the team comes across Eric Mollsen, who agrees to lend his plane for the job in exchange for his own NFT to be made by N8.
The private jet itself is a beauty to behold, in some senses, for its tacky exteriors and interiors are enough to draw anybody’s attention. It also has a glass ceiling and even a large display screen fitted on the underside, both of which are illegal in most airspaces. There is also a very handy remote control for every function, and the jet is a modern marvel overall. Reaching close to Jorgensen’s plane in the air would require the jet to not be traceable, and for this, it is fitted with stealth mods that would avoid detection. Although the first part of the plan is finalized, the switching of the radar signatures is more complicated than originally thought. As the operation cannot be carried out simultaneously on both planes, there would be a moment when two planes with the same signature would appear on the flight authorities’ screens. This would surely raise the alarm, so Abby hires an old Interpol informant, Harry, to be the one monitoring the flight over Brussels.
The transponder that needs to be used to make the switch is also difficult to take on to the plane, for its huge appearance would surely make it seem like a bomb to the authorities. Hence, the instrument is broken up into several parts and given to each of the team members to carry. It is decided that Abby will then assemble all the parts and switch them on mid-flight to successfully change the radar signature. Finally, on the day of the flight, the team takes on various disguises and boards the plane, ready for their supremely important heist. Cyrus very conveniently chooses the disguise of a rich man traveling with his trophy wife, with the latter being played by Abby, since he is also trying to woo the Interpol officer during all this time. The plan is that once the plane has reached significant height and distance, Abby will go over to the restroom and assemble the various parts of the transponder that would help make the signature switch. Meanwhile, Camila would fly the private jet below the plane and be ready for the main plane’s signature to be transferred onto a drone that would keep flying towards the correct flight route and raise no alarms with the authorities. Magnus, who is also aboard the flight, is tasked with reaching the vaults in the lower half of the plane, breaking into the safe, and keeping the gold ready. The plane would then be landed in a different location, where the gold would be transported out and handed over to Huxley and the Interpol authorities.
However, the plan obviously does not work out very well, and Lift drags on through some more problems. The men that Jorgensen had sent on the plane to guard his gold figure out that a heist is in progress, and so they take control of the situation. Although Camila does her job well enough, and the plane is also diverted to Cortina and landed on the snowy runway, the stash of gold cannot be retrieved, and the henchmen take all the team members hostage. Contacting their boss, Jorgensen, they are told to bring Cyrus and his heist team to the evil man’s villa in Zurich. It can be guessed that Jorgensen would like to make introductions with the team, with the intention of hiring them for further thefts that he would like to commit.
How does Huxley betray his colleagues?
Very soon, word of the plane having been hijacked and landed in Corsica gets out, and Huxley is informed about the same. He also learns that the gold had not been stolen but was instead being transported in the private jet, along with Jorgensen’s henchmen and Cyrus’ team members, all headed to the criminal’s villa. However, Huxley does not jump in to think of any rescue operation or of sending any help to his team. Instead, his first priority is to not let the gold reach Jorgensen, by hook or by crook, and so he orders for the private jet to be shot down. Perhaps Huxley also knows that if anyone else finds out that Interpol had hired professional thieves to steal gold from a businessman, that would be scandalous for the authorities as well. Therefore, he calls for the destruction of the jet, despite the fact that his colleague, Abby, and the rest of her team are in the jet.
Huxley gets in touch with authorities at NATO, asking them to send military jets in pursuit of the private plane and to shoot it down. In this while, Camila, who was piloting the jet, had cleverly managed to fly at awkward angles, losing the stealth mods from the plane’s body and ensuring that they could be tracked by the authorities. Although Camila does so to attract the attention of the Interpol and get help from them, she does not realize that the authorities will come to shoot them down. Two NATO jets eventually arrive and threaten to fire at the jet, which makes Cyrus realize that Huxley has gone against them. The team now makes use of the display screens fitted under the jet to inform the NATO planes of innocent hostages onboard, and this saves them from being fired at. As the military jets leave, the private jet approaches Jorgensen’s villa and makes a rough landing.
What happens to Cyrus and his crew?
After the crash landing, the representatives from Leviathan find out that one of the crew members is an Interpol agent, and so she decides to break the deal with Jorgensen. The man angrily shoots the representative dead, showing how ruthless he is, especially since he had already started to flood Madrid in order to make money for himself. When he confronts the group, Cyrus steps up to protect Abby, claiming himself to be the Interpol agent. Just as he is about to get shot, though, the local police arrive at the scene. Jorgensen tries to fool the authorities, stating that his villa was being intruded upon, but a security camera on the body of the private jet reveals otherwise. The camera had captured Jorgensen killing the Leviathan representative, and when this is displayed on the jet’s screens, Jorgensen is finally arrested for his crimes, and the water tragedy is also averted.
The stash of gold seems to have been confiscated by Huxley and Interpol, and Abby angrily quits the service after landing a feisty punch on her boss. A few weeks later, she is seen together with Cyrus, as the two have now finally started a romantic relationship. It is now revealed that the real stash of gold was not with the authorities, but that Cyrus and his team had cleverly stolen it. During the commotion on the flight, Magnus had managed to drop the original stash out of the plane with parachutes attached, and another member, Luke, had secured it via remote control. Magnus had also placed a stash of fake gold bars on the flight, and the one in possession of Interpol now was just fake bricks. This had always been Cyrus and his crew’s plan, but they had not told Abby anything about it.
During Lift‘s ending, the real stash of gold is secured amidst cheers from the crew, and Cyrus and Abby also share a kiss, making their love official to the others.