A well-intentioned misfire, Robbery follows small-time criminal Richie (Jeremy Ferdman) collaborates with his dementia-stricken father (Art Hindle’s Frank) to pull off a series of capers. It’s a fairly intriguing premise that’s employed to consistently (and distressingly) middling effect by filmmaker Corey Stanton, as the writer/director delivers an often egregiously deliberate narrative that doesn’t possess a real entry point for the viewer – which is a shame, certainly, given that Stanton has elicited a pair of fantastic performances from his lead actors. (Ferdman’s surprisingly sympathetic turn as the low-life protagonist is undoubtedly matched by Hindle’s stirring and periodically heartbreaking work here.) And although the picture’s been infused with a number of thriller-specific elements (including a climactic heist set within a casino), Robbery remains unable to generate any real excitement for the duration of its plodding runtime – with the only real exception to this an admittedly unexpected twist that arrives somewhere around the one-hour mark. The end result is a terminally uninvolving effort that predominantly feels as though it’s been clumsily expanded from a short, and it is, given the movie’s perpetually subdued nature, difficult not to scratch one’s head at Robbery‘s inclusion within After Dark’s lineup.

** out of ****

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