The film revolves around Luke Vaughn (Morgan), an employee of a Casino ran by secret criminal Francis "The Pope" Silva (De Niro) who teams up with three co-workers, including security guard Jason Cox (Bautista), to steal money from it so that Vaughn could pay the medical bills for his sick daughter. During the robbery, one of the co-workers leaves on their own in the car they were using, forcing to hijack a bus while escaping from Pope's forces, led by his right hand man Derrick "The Dog" Prince (Chestnut).
Not to be confused with the 2001 movie of the same title.
Heist provides examples of:
- The Casino: The robbery at Pope's casino by Vaughn and Cox's group is what sets out the movie's main conflict, though it's not until bus hijacking where the arching situation begins.
- Chase Scene: Before hijacking the bus, Dog chases Vaughn, Cox and his partner before missing them.
- Closest Thing We Got: Dante is wounded during the casino heist. On the bus, Cox calls out for anyone with any kind of medical training. The closest thing on the bus is veterinary student.
- Dirty Cop: Detective Marconi, who is charge of resolving the bus hostage situation, is actually in the pocket of Pope, and his chief goal is to recover the money stolen from the casino and kill the robbers.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Pope is a vicious mob boss, but won't tolerate anyone harming children, even the children of his enemies, as Dog learns to his cost.
- Fake Pregnancy: Pauline, Vaughn's sister, was hiding $300,000 of the $3 million stolen from the casino during the bus hijacking. Kris let her use it to pay the medical bill for Vaughn's daughter.
- Healthcare Motivation: The plot of the film revolves around a casino heist by an employee who needs to pay for his sick daughter's treatment.
- Medication Tampering: Dante dies after the vet student injects him with what is supposed to pain medication. Vaughn strongly implies that Marconi substituted it for something lethal.
- One-Word Title
- Open Heart Dentistry: Dante is wounded during the casino heist. On the bus, Cox calls out for anyone with any kind of medical training. The closest thing on the bus is veterinary student.
- Planning with Props: Vaughn lays out the plan for robbing the casino to his partners in a diner by using salt to draw out a map of the casino on the table and using condiments to mark out various points (the vault, the guard post, etc.). Dante keeps interrupting with ridiculous quibbles, such as insisting that the sugar should be the vault instead of the salt and complaining that about being the pepper.
- Pregnant Hostage: One of the passengers on the bus when it's hijacked is Pauline, a heavily pregnant young woman. She and a young boy are the first ones let off the bus in exchange for it being allowed to refuel. Ultimately subverted as it turns out that Pauline is Vaughn's sister and the pregnancy was fake. She uses the pregnancy belly to smuggled the cash off the bus.
- Pop the Tires: One of the SWAT cops on a motorbike shoots out a tire on the bus to force it to stop.
- Robbing the Mob Bank: The casino Vaughn and his partners rob is being used to launder money for the mob.
- Scary Black Man: Dog, the right hand man of Pope, has black skin and is by far one of the most aggresive and heinous characters in the movie, killing a number of innocent homeless people on the way and attempting to burn Vaughn alive. The latter happens when he refuses to stop the attack on Vaughn after Pope decides to spare him, which eventually leads to his death.
- SWAT Team: Just when Marconi is thrown off the bus by Cox, a SWAT squad gets on the top of the bus and tries to get Cox and Vaughn. Both manage to knock out the entire squad.
- Vehicle Title: In early releases, as well as in Australia, the film was titled Bus 657.
- We Interrupt This Program: A variant in which the program itself isn't interrupted for an Emergency Broadcast, but rather interrupts its own broadcast. Just when Vaughn shoots Cox to save Bernie, the news program that was broadcasting the bus incident stops recording to avoid disturbance from audiences.
- You Have Failed Me: After his pet Dirty Cop Marconi let Vaughn slip through his fingers again, Pope just shoots him partway through his attempted explanation.