The Spanish heist film “The Vault,” renamed from the even more unclear “Way Down” for U.S. release, stubbornly remains one of those films you know you’ll forget nearly as soon as you stop viewing it. This beautiful tale of a “mission impossible” attack on a strongly defended Madrid bank to recover wealth, directed by Jaume Balaguero of the “[rec]” series, has nothing fundamentally wrong with it. It’s just that a caper of this kind need suspenseful set pieces, startling twists, oddball characters, or appealing stars — ideally, all of the above — to stand out, and this one falls short in all of those areas. IMDB
In 1645, during several maritime battles between England’s Sir Francis Drake and the Spanish Armada, a little prologue presents the idea of riches sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic. A group of deep-diving salvagers discovers the lost loot 365 years later, which crusty Walter (Liam Cunningham) had been seeking for for three decades. However, it is confiscated by tipped-off Spanish customs officers as soon as it is loaded onto the ship, having been excavated from that country’s territorial seas. The case is heard by an international court at The Hague, which rules in favor of Spain. The secret riches is sent to Madrid sight unseen, still sealed in its centuries-old box.