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Does 'The Vault' Lock Up A 'Money Heist' Worthy Movie On Netflix?

The Vault Freddie Highmore Thom Netflix
Diego Lopez Calvin/ TELE5 Cinema

What happens when “Norman Bates” (“Bates Motel”) and “Ser Davos” (“Game of Thrones”) team up to pull off a heist on the level of a certain Netflix series? You get “The Vault,” a movie featuring a familiar premise that somehow manages to repackage it in a fresh, exciting way. New to Netflix, “The Vault” (aka “Way Down”) has a wealth of treasure locked up that “Money Heist” fans will appreciate.

As it stands, the third, fourth, and forthcoming fifth season of Netflix’s “Money Heist” has revolved around the team’s infiltration of the infamous Bank of Spain. The impenetrable fortress is legendary. Of course, the imaginative mind of screenwriters has toyed with what it would take to get in – and out – with loot. In “The Vault,” unraveling the ability to execute such a high-stakes heist once again takes center stage.

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“The Vault” opens with Walter (Liam Cunningham, “Game of Thrones”) working with his team to salvage treasure from a sunken Spanish ship circa 2009. Walter and his cohorts pull off the daring recovery in a nail-biting sequence, only to have the Spanish government confiscate the treasure. Making matters worse, they lock it away in the Bank of Spain. Things are looking grim for Walter.

So, understandably dissatisfied with this turn of events, Walter conspires to regain his much-desired prize. Enter Thom. Freddie Highmore once again plays the role of a genius, this time leaving his scrubs from “The Good Doctor” to play Thom, an engineer fresh from college. Aided by Lorraine (Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey), Walter recruits Thom to take on the impossible mission: break into the Bank of Spain and steal the essential treasure.

Besides the expected obstacles, there is also someone standing in their way. That would be José Coronado’s Gustavo, who heads the Bank of Spain’s security. Coronado’s towering presence alone makes for an intimidating deterrent. Like his co-stars, Coronado is excellently cast, and his familiar on-screen presence lends itself to deepening the ties viewers feel to the story.

Thankfully, “The Vault” gives its cast a magical story to dig into as well. Not since “National Treasure” has an action/adventure flick been this unexpectedly fun, entertaining, and riveting to watch. While the big prize of penetrating the titular “vault” remains in sight, the movie provides mini heist-like payoffs to keep viewers hooked.

If you enjoy heist films or TV shows, “The Vault” is a must-see movie on Netflix, and getting the chance to see this particular cast together gives the film an oomph factor. Liam Cunningham gets more to do here than he did in the final season of “Game of Thrones,” which is refreshing. And getting to see Freddie Highmore be a non-homicidal genius is another invigorating twist.

“Bates Motel” is one of the greatest television shows of all time, and Freddie Highmore’s performance was a large part of that. So, to see Highmore get to dig into this lighter role is a nice turn. Providing the framework for Highmore and his co-stars is Jaume Balagueró’s direction, which provides a stellar structure to the film’s talent, and its script.

There is a lot in “The Vault” that feels familiar, especially in light of “Money Heist” taking on the same location. So it is compelling to see the writers of “The Vault” conjure another solution to infiltrating the Bank of Spain. As an added bonus, it is pleasant to see an engineer put in such a central role, as the daughter of one, that never gets old.

“The Vault” is currently streaming on Netflix (August 2021). While you are there, you can also check out “Money Heist” (if you have not already) and some other worthy crime thrillers that will get your blood pumping.

Rating: 7.5/10

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