That’s right, I am picking up this classic old series from Gary Smith who used to do these. It is my intent to post a short (500 words or less) movie, book, or game (mostly movies to be sure) review here every day from now on. Let’s see how long I can make it before I grab a pretty blonde in each hand and climb atop the Empire State Building to fight off helicopters and attack planes, shall we?
Wild Card (2015)
Director: Simon West
Nick Wild is a Las Vegas bodyguard with a gambling addiction, and an action movie hero addiction as well. Dreaming of escaping this seedy world so he can sail a yacht around Corsica, he earns money through cutesy side jobs like helping losers get laid by letting them beat him up in front of their girlfriends, while serving as the “Mike” Jason Alexander’s “Better Call Saul” character. The “Gus” of their world is a mysterious gangster known only as “Baby” who runs the entire local Vegas underworld. One night one of Nick’s friends, a girl named Holly gets roughed up by some two bit gangsters associated with “Baby”. Nick must decide whether to get involved and risk bringing the entire mob down on his head, or just stay out of it and mind his own business. This is a Jason Statham movie, so it’s not exactly a mystery which choice he makes. This movie was definitely not approved by the Las Vegas tourism board, as it makes the place out to be a real hell hole. This was a thoroughly enjoyable movie while it lasted, which was not that long at barely an hour and a half. There are entertaining performances here from the likes of Jason Statham, Anne Heche, Dominik Garcia-Lorido, and Stanley Tucci, but in this confined space, aside from Statham none of them get nearly enough screen time to really shine here. I normally like movies like this to not overstay their welcome, but I think an extra half hour here would have been an improvement actually. Everything is wrapped up neatly in the end with a nice Dues Ex Machina (Thank you intro to film, for that little gem) and a few playing cards to the throat.
I learned while researching a little about this movie, that it was in fact a remake of an earlier Burt Reynolds movie I had never heard of called “Heat”. Looking back on this movie, even though I enjoyed it spots, having Burt Renyolds (well, from the 1980s version) instead of Mr. Statham would have been much of an improvement. In the scenes where he is required to break people’s faces and kick them to smithereens, Statham is fantastic. In the scenes where he has to just look menacing and utter cool sounding dialogue, he is adequate but nothing special. In the scenes where he is required to show the depths of his gambling addiction, he is sadly sub-par. Reynolds, while most likely weaker in the first category would be much superior in the latter two, so with that said I am going to make it a priority to go and hunt down the original version of this movie.