Scroll through any streaming service and there’s a crime caper begging to be played. Yet, most of these films try too hard to be clever and inventive, when they should be funnier and entertaining, much like The Pay Day‘s M.O. The British crime comedy isn’t looking to compete with Ocean’s Eleven, but more with Baby Driver in how it unfolds.
Never mess with an IT employee who is over it and ready to delete everyone’s Twitter accounts. Having had enough of bad bosses and the corporate drudgery, Jennifer (Kyla Frye) is contacted by Gates (Simon Callow) for a juicy heist proposition in return for a pretty penny. However, she isn’t breaking into an impenetrable vault or stealing the crown jewels from those royal fools. Instead, she’s after the most valuable currency on Earth: data. After she sneaks into the building and goes about her merry mission, she encounters a mysterious man named George (Sam Benjamin), who provides another twist in the tale.
Slicker than a monkey wearing a bowtie
From the first shot, it’s clear director Sam Bradford has an eye for gorgeous cinematography because The Pay Day is slick and stylish in its overall presentation. The aesthetic is clean and tidy, complimented by a jazz-club score that adds a rhythm to the scenes. While the film doesn’t have the heavy music-driven element of Baby Driver, its quirky tone and use of music beats is reminiscent of the Edgar Wright film. And again, like Baby Driver, there’s a healthy boost of humour and mischief injected into the story, with more than a few situations and scenarios where the characters almost end up undoing their plans single-handedly.
The Pay Day‘s script isn’t revolutionary or redefining the genre with technical showmanship. Instead, it narrows the focus to be about something more than the crime at hand: namely, the relationship between the lead characters, Jennifer and George. Undoubtedly, the on-screen chemistry between Frye and Benjamin is electrifying and endearing, and it should have more than a few people hoping for a sequel in the near future. The two complement each other, as they look like they are able to finish each other’s sentences. Actually, they probably could since Frye and Benjamin wrote the script, so they have a deep understanding of these characters and their motivations, and it shows in their respective performances.
Fans of British humour and crime capers will have a ball with The Pay Day. It isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel with its premises or attempting to outsmart the audience with plot twists around every corner, as the primary focus here is to entertain the audience with an easy-to-follow and quirky story. It delivers for the most part, and it generates enough interest for the audience to want to see these characters return in the near future.