<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Scott Mann. Starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Robert De Niro, Kate Bosworth, Morris Chestnut, Dave Bautista, Gina Carano, Mark-Paul Gosselaar
Running Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Robert De Niro sure has some debts or bills to pay off if he’s doing C-grade films like this one.
What a god-awful mess of a movie this is. Don’t make no sense at all sucker. Lots of American crap going on here. Lots of ‘inspiration’ taken from other films. Speed for one what with the bus being taken hostage and being chased by cops and even having a scene where the cops have to get on a moving bus. Puhlease!
Jeffrey Dean Morgan is Luke Vaughn, a poor ex-military guy working at Mr Pope’s (Robert De Niro) floating casino as a black jack dealer ‘cause he doesn’t want to do Pope’s dirty work. But he needs money to save his dying daughter. Unfortunately, principles don’t allow for a goon who launders money to give away 300,000 dollars to save a kid. So Vaughn takes up an offer from Cox (Dave Bautista) to rob the casino, which he readily accepts. Things quickly turn bad and they find themselves hijacking a bus that’s around their area at just the right time.
The rest of the film is on the bus, with she-man cop Officer Bajos (Gina Carano) trying to sympathise with Vaughn and get them out safe. But god cops and bad cops and all sorts of stupidity don’t stop the bus.
There are so many plot holes and ridiculous plot points in Bus 657 (which was rebranded Heist for some reason, in America). They try and iron out some of them but you just wonder how on earth they can give so much leeway to a clearly guilty man who has caused the death and injury of police officers and civilians.
Bautista shines only when he as to be macho. De Niro shouldn’t even be in this film but his presence certainly helps even though his character and the motivations he has don’t ever make sense: having a daughter he loves but never sees and still wanting to keep a run down old boat-casino even when he’s suffering from an illness. Also the whole turn at the end, which makes complete nonsense for his character considering they’ve shown him to be stubborn and unflinching to his principles of evil.
Bus 657 is formula that just about manages to be watchable but then you come out and think how nothing in it made any sense.
PS: I was surprised to learn that director Scott Mann actually acted in The Shawshank Redemption.