Wild Card is directed by Simon West who is in familiar territory having previous credits that include The Mechanic (2011) and The Expendables 2 (2012). The film is based on a book called Heat (1985) by William Goldman who also wrote the screenplay. I have heard that it is a remake/update of a Burt Reynolds film that came out within a couple of years of the novel.
In this version of the tale Jason Statham plays a Las Vegas security consultant/bodyguard with contacts all over town and a mysterious past. All we know is that he is a man you can go to, to sort out problems the police can’t help you with. He is contacted by an ex (Dominik Garcia-Lorido) who was on the wrong end of some rough treatment from a boxer called Danny DeMarco (Miles Ventimiglia) and wants her revenge. Despite his better judgement he opens the door so to speak for her to have her moment. The film deals with the consequences of this moment.
So what was my main takeaway from this film – well it’s not very good to put it politely. It opens up perfectly reasonably but when Holly (Dominik Thingy-Thing) turns up on screen it all starts to go terribly wrong. She is utterly terrible and the way she plays Mr Wild is unbelievable. He’s supposed to be a streetwise man about town and shouldn’t have been taken in by such an unconvincing performance. The six people in my screening certainly didn’t fall for it.
This relationship sets the scene for the rest of the film. In the trailer Danny is made out to be the big bad of the movie but turns out to be a whiny little child who hides behind his bouncers for most of the action. Wild Card also makes the mistake of delivering a hero with no weaknesses and who suffers no consequences for his actions. Why am I supposed to give a hoot about this man?
If I can say anything positive about this film it is the two (maybe three) minutes of screen time given over to Stanley Tucci who as ever raises the tone of the whole thing. There’s also a blink and you miss it appearance by Jason Alexander as a private detective early on. I pray the two of them were paid really well for being associated with this movie.
I’m not going to waste anymore time on this film. If you like Mr Statham then fill your boots, I’m sure Wild Card will deliver what you want. For the the 99% of others who prefer a little more intelligence then I recommend The Gunman (2015) that I saw earlier this evening – review coming tomorrow evening. My rating 2/5.