<![CDATA[Expendables Premiere - Wild Card]]>Sat, 09 Jan 2016 05:34:24 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Wild Card review by Shawn Gordon]]>Tue, 28 Apr 2015 02:35:19 GMThttp://www.expendablespremiere.com/wild-card/wild-card-review-by-shawn-gordonPicture
A bust is a bust and a movie titled “Wild Card” is just bagging for lame puns and jokes related to the glitzy world of gambling. It’s becomes increasingly easier when said movie is a slow moving, overtly familiar potboiler, of which, “Wild Card” certainty is.

The movie is completely lifeless and relentlessly dull, not what one would expect from a Jason Statham movie. “Wild Card” lacks suspense and resemblances a thriller missing the thrilling parts. A slow pace only makes the picture more unbearable. It’s the sort of movie that if you shut it off in the middle, you would never really wonder what happened. It comes a no wonder that “Wild Card” barely received a theatrical release, and disappeared quickly after.

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The Statham stars as Nick Wild, a Vegas based bodyguard and ex-mercenary who finds himself working odd jobs out of a lawyer friend’s office for little reward. When a friend, Holly (Dominik Garcia-Lorido) is brutalized by a low-level mob thug (a ridiculously miscast Milo Ventimidlia, TV’s “Heroes”) she comes to Nick for help. He agrees to help he get even, but in the process puts himself in a spot with the Vegas mob outfit.

This sounds like the basses for a good Statham movie, but instead we get a lot of the Stath moping about, compulsively gambling and daydreaming about leaving Las Vegas. When it’s not just routine, it’s just boring. We can usually rely on Statham to deliver the action and entertainment, this time he lets us down.


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Screenwriting legend William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) adapts his 1985 novel “Heat” for the second time.  I suppose that Goldman sees the story as a character piece, but it’s a real drab one with an uninteresting protagonist at it‘s center. So I would venture a guess that Goldman never was interested in action or thrills or writing a Jason Statham vehicle.

Flat direction from Simon West doesn‘t help. West started his film career promising enough with the memorable over-the-top Nic Cage vehicle “Con Air” (1997), but never made a good movie after that. He has in recent years reteamed with Cage for the dismal “Stolen” (2012) and directed the Stath is the less than memorable “The Mechanic” and “The Expendables 2” (2010). West attempts to look cool unnecessary cuts and gimmicky slow motion.Screenwriting legend William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) adapts his 1985 novel “Heat” for the second time.  I suppose that Goldman sees the story as a character piece, but it’s a real drab one with an uninteresting protagonist at it‘s center. So I would venture a guess that Goldman never was interested in action or thrills or writing a Jason Statham vehicle.


Flat direction from Simon West doesn‘t help. West started his film career promising enough with the memorable over-the-top Nic Cage vehicle “Con Air” (1997), but never made a good movie after that. He has in recent years reteamed with Cage for the dismal “Stolen” (2012) and directed the Stath is the less than memorable “The Mechanic” and “The Expendables 2” (2010). West attempts to look cool unnecessary cuts and gimmicky slow motion.
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Statham, likewise is dull, phoning in a performance that he probably wasn’t ideal for in the first place. Astoundingly Statham developed the project himself over about five years, but he appears to have no enthusiasm for the movie. The 1986 Burt Reynolds adaptation wasn’t exactly great, but Burt was more suited for the part.

Stanley Tucci offers the movie’s only highlight in a role as a oily gangster, but his screen time if far too brief and he arrives far too late in the picture to generate much impact. All the same, Tucci is memorable in otherwise drab movie.

The fight scenes, choreographed by legendary Hong Kong chorographer Corey Yeun, who also made Statham look good in “The Transporter” (2002), are good, but surprisingly few. The action quota is not amongst the highest of Statham’s career, in fact “Wild Card” barely seems like an action movie at all. It still has the 1986 level of violence, which I love old school, just not when it feels so “old“. “Wild Card” delves it’s audience a loosing hand.
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