Story: Lit (Nelson J. Davis) is a man who always has money on his mind, so when he has the chance to liberate some stolen cash for himself, he doesn’t hesitate. The money was already stolen however and since he knows the criminals responsible have been locked up, he sees little risk in claiming the funds as his own. But what he doesn’t know is that while they’re not on the streets, that doesn’t mean the money is up for grabs. After Lit tends to some personal business and tries to relax a little, a man in a panda mask arrives to find out where that cash is now. Can Lit somehow escape from the panda invader and keep his newfound wealth or is he in over his head this time?

Entertainment Value: This is a brisk, solidly crafted home invasion/crime thriller and while the low budget roots are evident, it doesn’t let that hold back the movie. Nakia Hamilton wrote and directed Secure the Bag, both of which are handled in more than competent fashion. I do think some elements here have some unintended humor, but I don’t mind some b movie vibes at all, so I didn’t mind those instances. The panda mask home invader is a wild moment that can yield some odd scenes, but it is also creepy at times, so it balances out. The same holds true for the dialogue and narrative in general, as some moments are humorous or a little absurd, but again, this is just makes the movie more fun. And for the most part, I was entertained here and at just over seventy minutes, this is a super brisk, easy to watch thriller. If you appreciate independent cinema that is well made, but still packs some b movie magic, give this one a shot.

If the name Nelson J. Davis sounds familiar, that is for good reason, as Davis is a staple of Maverick Movies’ presence on multiple cinematic platforms. Davis is a good performer who takes the material seriously, but knows when to lean on his charm or sense of humor to lighten things up. Even in the more intense scenes, he is believable and I think his banter with his costars is one of the best parts of Secure the Bag. He is able to deliver those exchanges in quick fire, but still natural style and to me, he was a lot of fun to watch in this one. He is a more than capable lead and you can tell why Maverick trusts him with so many roles, he brings energy and enthusiasm to his work in each picture. The cast also includes Kevin J. Stone, Jenique Bennett, and Brad Elle Jones, who has a small, but memorable role.

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