Run Time: 1 hr 31 min
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 25%/28%
The Vault is a Crime/Suspense/Horror about a bank robbery that goes from bad to worse very quickly starring James Franco (Ed), Taryn Manning (Vee), and Francesca Eastwood (Leah). The film opens with what you can tell is about to be a bank robbery with Taryn Manning playing the part of the loud, ghetto, obnoxious distraction, Francesca being the seemingly innocent bystander but is definitely anything but innocent, and Franco playing the part of one of the bank employees. Now at first I was convinced that this might turn out to be a very good bank heist film with the set up that we were provided but then the plot takes a very different turn. What started out as a very run of the mill bank heist film turned into a bizarre zombie horror flick….if done right, this kind of concept could be pretty cool but did this film pull it off or was this a cinematic crime of the century?
The overall concept of the film was unique. We have seen hundreds of bank robbery films but there has never been one that turns into a zombie/ghost blood bath (that I am aware of). That fact alone made this film mildly entertaining to watch. There was also a bit of a surprise ending that was a cool addition to the film and while it didn’t make me want to go watch the movie again, it did bring some understanding to some scenes that I was questioning.
This is not a good film. Like I stated previously, the concept is unique and there was potential here for this to be a fun, entertaining movie but unfortunately it was not executed well at all. There were parts of the film where the security cameras would go in and out during murder scenes and seemed to be so that the other criminals couldn’t see what fate befell their counterparts but it just looked cheesy. The rules of who could see the ghosts/zombies didn’t make a whole lot of sense either. The main zombie/ghost was a bank robber that robbed the bank years earlier and killed multiple innocent people, so I don’t understand how in the afterlife he somehow developed a moral code and will only kill bad guys now?? It just didn’t add up.
The internal conflict with the bank robbers was just boring, confusing, and the feeble attempt at creating some dimension to any of the characters was pointless. Long story short….THERE WAS NO CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. I mean, you don’t really expect that in a horror movie but if the film wants to be even remotely good, we (the audience) have to connect with someone in this film and there was no one. Even James Franco’s character was in there so little that I can tell he read the script, thought it sounded pretty cool, then once he saw the real fuckery he said, cut my scenes.
The Vault had potential but it just did not execute. The bank heist element could have been very good had they gone that route only. Hell, the zombie movie element could have been bad ass had they done it the right way. But with neither concept working, the whole movie failed. Now don’t get me wrong, you can get some good laughs out of this one. So this Sista Gurl recommends you make several adult beverages, get a good buzz going and watch this movie with your friends if you have absolutely nothing else to watch…or you can just watch This is the End or Pineapple Express for a better James Franco movie and Dawn of The Dead or 28 Days of Night for a good zombie flick! You’ve been warned..