Director: Simon West
Cast: Jason Statham, Michael Angarano, Dominik Garc a-Lorido, Hope Davis
Jason Statham has increasingly become the Jean Claude Van Damme of the new generation. But unlike the '80s action star Statham has one (or sometimes even two) movies coming out every single year. Whether it's an 'Expendables' or 'Fast and Furious' sequel, there's always one Statham movie every year that puts him in a suit, and then in a car, and then guns blazing out for vengeance. This year that honour goes to 'Wild Card'.
Directed by Simon West, who made 'The Expendables 2' and the '90s classic cheesefest 'Con Air', 'Wild Card' pushes the limits of a Jason Statham movie in terms of mediocrity. If it weren't bad enough that this is a standard issue Statham movie, it is also a remake of a 1986 Burt Reynolds film about a recovering gambling addict stuck in a grisly mess of violence with a local gangster.
For starters, the film's title is a pun on the character's name — Nick Wild, who happens to be a former soldier in a Las Vegas club with a thing for cards. If you have seen any prior movie of Statham, you know the drill — something goes wrong, and the man lends his martial arts and bullet time skills to wreak havoc upon the cartel, score the girl in the story, and walk towards the sunset. It's always the same narrative and the only change is the faces of the side characters. That's pretty much what happens in 'Wild Card', except that this time we have Stanely Tucci, Jason Alexander and Sofia Vergara in the supporting bin.
So what do we look forward to then? The action. It's very much present, and it's as generic as it comes. You get the same one-two punches, the same old car chase, the usual supply of bad one liners, the trademark straight face of Statham in the midst of all the silliness around him, and the crummy electronic soundtrack. The strange thing is, there is a lot of talking in the movie, as if the filmmakers want us to invest in the characters. As a result, there are only three action scenes in the film, and it becomes a real slog to sit through 80 minutes of boring characters blabbering for just 10 minutes of a** kicking. On the bright side, a couple of stunts are in slo mo, probably a first for Statham.