Review - Wild Card
By midlandsmovies, Mar 8 2015 04:33PM
Wild Card (2015) Dir. Simon West
So here we go again. Let’s start by stating the obvious. Wild Card joins the endless Statham revenge action thrillers similar to most of the other films from the actor’s career to date. They not so much follow the same formula but, for me, merge into one giant film making it difficult to differentiate between any of them. Can anyone really say what they remember about Blitz, Safe, Parker, Homefront or Hummingbird? In fact I am wondering if he secretly starring in his own cinematic universe! He so often plays the same ex-cop/gangster/trained assassin/cage fighter/thief with violent skills who attempts to go straight, but is pulled in by circumstances beyond his control that he could be the same person!
Surprise surprise then, this film continues the pattern as Statham plays Nick Wild, a man giving protection to others to help pay for his gambling addiction in Vegas. When a woman is brutally attacked and seeks her revenge against the perpetrators, she uses Nick’s help but as he crosses paths with these gangsters, they start having their own plans on getting revenge on Nick himself. Parallel to this we see a young self-made millionaire called Cyrus Kinnick (Michael Angarano) who enlists Nick’s help to deal with his own anxieties.
The same whispering Statham persona that appears in all his films (who so desperately tries to avoid the violence that catches up with him) appears here too and although a couple of slow motion action sequences had an air of what could have been, the rest is mostly derivative tosh. I wish Simon West had thrown in some of the tongue-in-cheek OTT fun from his magnum opus Con Air. The earnest “realism” is at odds with the violence in Vegas and although babes, bullets and brawn still have a place in 21st century action, sadly this film this isn’t it.
A quick 90-odd minutes of runtime help focus the slight story and the second half was more fun than the beginning which dragged. One more positive was that it certainly wasn't as offensive as the output from other action “baldie” Bruce Willis who appears to have given up altogether. However, despite a few plus points, I really just want one film where Statham DOESN’T want to go straight & DOESN’T have a trained set of skills designed to throat punch everyone. Sadly, Wild Card takes its place alongside The Gambler as another bad revenge gambling film in 2015. Hit me!
6/10 Midlands Movies Mike