2018, TV

Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist (2018, Barbara Schroeder)

This is a documentary miniseries about an absolutely bonkers crime, which shouldn’t be called¬†America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist, but rather American’s Craziest Bank Heist, or America’s Worst Bank Heist. If you are interested in true crime, I would strongly recommend watching this, both for how it tells the story and how this particularly story – and its presentation – deviates from so much of the true crime documentary podcasts, movies and TV shows out there.

Very mild SPOILERS !!!!!!!

The appeal of this story isn’t so much in the mystery – though the mystery is compelling early on – as I can tell you that you will not learn exactly what happened, and what you will discover most of what you will learn before the final episode.¬†

Rather the interest is in this absolutely insane story, where some mentally troubled individuals attempt to pull off a bank heist worthy of a movie, and just failed utterly in every way. The film is more a portrait of what happens when the members of underclass do not have the support and resources they need but do have just enough resources and brains to try something stupid.

It is the craziest true crime story I have yet encountered and I imagine I will never ever hear of anything this crazy ever again. Just utterly bizarre.

The series itself is kind of oddly told, and the pacing could be a little better. (Much like another Netflix series I have watched relatively recently, it probably could have been shorter than it actually is.) But fortunately the story and the characters are just so unbelievable that whatever quibbles I have with the style of the film are secondary, given that I just sat in awe of these people and the terrible thing they did – and, moreover, the thing they did so incompetently.

Worth your time.


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