This is a bank heist, executed perfectly, but one small thing goes wrong. There is a witness, just a guy taking out the trash, who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. The two bank robbers, Will Montgomery (played by Nicolas Cage) and Vincent (played by Josh Lucas) fight over whether the guy should be shot. Will thinks it unnecessary to add murder to bank robbing, by Vincent does not want any witnesses. In the precious moments they need to escape the pursuit of the cops, that are bearing down on them from all directions, they physically fight over this. When Will takes the gun from Vincent, who is ready to kill the man, it discharges by accident. The bullet pierces Vincent's leg. Will has to help carry Vincent to the getaway van. Then Will has to go back to get the money left behind. But time has run out. The gang escapes in the getaway van leaving Will desperately behind. Although Will attempts a daring escape using a cop car, and he never kills anyone, he is finally caught. When he surrenders the money is gone. He took the few seconds before his arrest to put all the ten million stolen dollars into a trash drum that the homeless had set on fire to use to keep warm.
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This missing evidence got him a reduced sentence of only 8 years in prison but Vincent still thinks Will has the money when he gets out. So does the FBI. The FBI puts Will under surveillance hoping to recover the missing funds so that Will can lead them to the hidden money. Vincent kidnaps Will's daughter to force him to give him the money. Will tries desperately to track him down, which results in a "cat and mouse" type chase all over the city of New Orleans, because Vincent has the girl in the sound-proofed trunk of his taxi cab, plus has intentionally created diversions, such as switching his taxi number with another cab to throw Will off his track. Will gets close to figuring out where they are, but finally gives in. Since he does not have the money from the previous bank robbery that Vincent wants, Will decides to rob the same bank he robbed before even he knows he is under FBI surveillance. The time before he took money, this time he steals ten million in gold by melting through the floor and capturing the melted gold as it pours through the opening he cut through the concrete floor below.
Will meets up with Vincent at an abandoned amusement park to make the exchange of gold for his daughter. But this is not enough for Vincent who also lost his leg when he was shot and blames Will for his life completely falling apart. He tries to double-cross Will to kill both Will and his daughter, plus take the gold. It is a fight to the death but Will has the one single determination that is the most powerful of all, which is to prove to his daughter that he loves her more than anything.
Best part of story, including ending:
Crime capers where the criminals turn against each other are great, because the guy we like is under siege by both the FBI and his past criminal buddies so it is even better when he overcomes all of them.
Best scene in story:
The way they steal the gold is really terrific. Simple, yet very effective, doubt it would really be that easy but the audience gets a thrill out of this scene for sure.
Opinion about the main character:
Will's most redeeming character trait is that he truly loves his daughter and he wants to make up for all the time he lost being in prison.