In ‘Solid Rock Trust’, Maddie a unique talented hacker orchestrates a bank heist that doesn’t require her to be involved in person. She assembles a team and armed with a collection of cell phones and computers in an abandoned building, she attempts to pull off the biggest heist in history. To the rest of the crew on the job, she is only just a voice on the phone.
You can say that the filmmaker had limited resources and made the best out of it. The majority of the film is set in that one location; an abandoned warehouse that Maddie has set up to be her control station for the heist. However, there are some sporadic cut-way scenes to show the other characters just to help the viewer get a full picture of the operation and the other characters involve.
As a crime thriller, it does great at capturing your attention. setting and maintaining an intense vibe from start to finish. You are held hostage waiting and witnessing things unfold right before you.
It is easy to say that this film is a one-cast film but it isn’t. Maddie (played by Koko Marshall) gets about 90% of the screen time in this film. She is undoubtedly the star of the film and her performance is close to flawless. Throughout the film, we see her in a varied range of emotions and she delivers it all perfectly without flunking a single line. She can switch and fake accents on the whim and keeps a calm head in all the heat.
Granted, her other co-stars are mostly just voices we hear on the phone, but they do deliver decent enough performances. You could almost mentally picture these characters as they speak over the phone. So much so that even before you finally get to see what they each look like, you would have created your mental image of them courtesy of the characteristics and attitude they display in their voice acting.
Each of the other characters has their backstories and motivations that are cleverly relayed to us the audience without us necessarily seeing them or watching any flashbacks. It is all done through dialogue and it works very well together.
We find out that Maddie is romantically involved with Rowan, one of the other voices on the phone involved in the heist. The subject of their relationship is initially teased in the early parts of the film. But it is soon fleshed out into a decent subplot of the entire story.
As the heist progresses, the team are faced with challenges and Maddie handles it well enough taking each challenge on like she had prepared well enough for it. But like it every heist or situation that involves money, greed sets in. Carmen, one of the robbers particularly feels like she should be in control. After all, she is in the thick of it all and should be able to dictate and decide what to do without the strange woman on the phone. Her attitude compounds things for them all but fortunately, Maddie seems to have everything under control and manages to remain cool as ice regardless of the situation.
All that you need for a successful heist is a good plan and trust as solid as a rock.
Another commendable thing is how this film was shot and edited. You would think that it was all done in a single long take. With everything happening right in front of you in that one location you would expect that there would be many scene changes and cuts but everything just appears seamlessly sequenced.
The writing and directing by Rick Ives are brilliant in this film. In most cases you see the narrative style showing more than telling. But this film tells more than it shows, however, you are still able to get the picture and the full sense of whatever is happening. Every single line in the dialogue is valuable to the story and presents details that are relevant to enhancing the story.
In the end ’Solid Rock Trust’ is a decent caper film. Even with a limited choice of location, it provides a good enough dose of adrenaline rush that is served courtesy of good acting and great storytelling with well-thought-out plot twists. I would score this 7/10.
I can’t help but wonder what Rick Ives would have been able to do with this film if out had a bigger budget or backed by a huge production studio.
You too can watch ‘Solid Rock Trust’ as it is available for streaming on Tubi.