As Spain watches its national football team win the World Cup for the first time, a group of highly qualified robbers attempts to break into the world’s most safe bank vault. That is, at least, the strategy in Jaume Balagueró’s massively ambitious Euro heist thriller Way Down.
Liam Cunningham’s salty salvage expert has devised a scheme to break into the Bank of Spain’s “Chamber of Gold” in Madrid, a legendary safe vault rumored to house an ancient Spanish treasure. He hires a fresh-faced Cambridge engineering student (Freddie Highmore) to join his band of robbers, which also includes Sam Riley, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, and Famke Janssen, to crack the safe’s complex and tightly guarded security mechanisms.
Their window of opportunity coincides with Spain’s victorious run at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, which drew massive crowds to watch the games on giant outdoor screens outside Madrid’s financial landmark. As the team is organized, the plot is formulated, and the crime is carried out, all under the noses of the bank’s top-notch security team and a carnival of nationalistic revelry, it evokes equal parts Ocean’s Eleven and The Italian Job.