Audiences love a good scam movie. There is just something about the deceit and outrageous schemes that attract people. Watching the unbelievable rise and inevitable fall rarely ceases to be engaging. Rising High is a German thriller premiering on Netflix on April 17. The movie follows Viktor, a penniless young man. Together with a new friend and an unethical loan agent, they become rich beyond their wildest dreams. But is is worth the price?
If the movie sounds familiar, that is because it is. This is not necessarily a problem. A strong story can overcome the cliched slo mo montages of sex and drugs. Rising High never quite reaches that level, unfortunately. Everything comes a little too easy. Viktor possesses a literally indescribable charm. This causes the film to lack any tension since he is able to get away with everything with ease. This is a big part of the fun in film’s of this genre.
This means the con has to carry the film. Again, things are done too simply in Rising High. This is actually somewhat common, but here it comes across as lazy. (The poor analogies used to explain things do not help.) The soundtrack and pacing help out here. The music adds to a fun atmosphere and since the film keeps moving along, the paper thing story does not bog things down.
Viktor is an interesting character. Another draw of the genre is why the characters would go as far as they do. More often than not, it is simply greed. Through flashbacks, the audiences see this may not be the case with Viktor. If the answer is as simple as wanting more money, Rising High investigates the root of it. It is nicely done and is paid off nicely.
There is a lot of leeway when it comes to movies about scams. These films tend to be more about having fun than anything else. Rising High is fast paced and stylish and follows many of the expected tropes. The story has its flaws, but the film’s strengths are enough to keep viewers entertained. It will be an enjoyable watch for fans of these types of films.