With surface glamour provided by sleek production values and fetching stars Mia Sara and Billy Zane, THE SET-UP is an assembly-line heist movie that ably camouflages its ordinariness.
After a failed high-tech cat burglary in which his wife is killed, career criminal Charles Thorpe (Zane) goes to prison and emerges determined to go straight. Working a parolee job as a security-device installer, Thorpe catches the eye of maverick banker Jeremiah Cole (James Coburn), who hires him
to develop a foolproof checks-and-balances system that will make Cole's bank impregnable. While at work, Thorpe falls in love with Cole's mistress, Gina (Sara). But Thorpe's good fortune ...