Five married guys conspire to secretly share a penthouse loft in the city--a place where they can carry out hidden affairs and indulge in their deepest fantasies. But the fantasy becomes a nightmare when they discover the dead body of an unknown woman in the loft, and they realize one of the group must be involved.
Erik Van Looy
Arthur Bishop thought he had put his murderous past behind him when his most formidable foe kidnaps the love of his life. Now he is forced to travel the globe to complete three impossible assassinations, and do what he does best, make them look like accidents.
Tommy Lee Jones
Nick Wild (Jason Statham) is a Las Vegas bodyguard with lethal professional skills and a personal gambling problem. When a friend is beaten by a sadistic thug, Nick strikes back, only to find out the thug is the son of a powerful mob boss. Suddenly Nick is plunged into the criminal underworld, chased by enforcers and wanted by the mob. Having raised the stakes, Nick has one last play to change his fortunes...and this time, it's all or nothing. From two-time Academy® Award-winning writer William Goldman (Best Original Screenplay, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 1969; Best Adapted Screenplay, All the President's Men, 1976). Written by
Before the projector rolls, before the lights dim, before the butter hits the popcorn ... we just have to talk about the pedigree.
A remake of a 1986 B-level action flick starring Burt Reynolds (once named the Sexiest Man Alive, but you would need some life experience and a good memory to know that), written at the time by William Goldman, the A-list writer of Butch Cassiday fame (among other iconic works.) ... and redone now in 2015 starring the irrepressible Jason Statham (47 years old but still very much at fighting weight) with the screenplay updated by .... TA DAH .... WAIT FOR IT... the 83 year old Goldman himself.
Are you impressed yet? I review a lot of films, and I certainly am. We are almost in the realm of Hollywood royalty ... and the film has not even started.
One quick note, BTW: Davenia McFadden as the nosey housekeeper steals her single cameo, and shines.
So, you are dying to know, how was the actual film? One word, L U G U B R I O U S.
Seriously, there is a fine line between building tension and simply wasting frames.
I think this film crosses that line way too often.
This is one of those films -- to make a point -- you can watch on VLC at 1.5 times speed AND NOT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE. Think about that.
A full 25 minutes was spent, off the top, on backstory. That's a bit of overkill.
And when the story does begin to slowly limp along, there is very little connection with the viewer. This is because the character of Nick Wild was deliberately written as a borderline manic depressive with rotating compulsions.
No I am not making this up, it is in the script. Don't shoot the messenger. (Or, you can check out my IMDb review of SHOOT THE MESSENGER. Your choice) No audience connection, no entertainment, no high rating. Simple formula,
I know what you are thinking, What about those Corey Yeun directed fight scenes? Good question. There are two and a half fight scenes in the movie.
Ignoring the half (which is gone so quickly you could blink and miss it), the first of the two major fight scenes takes place against a sound track of deliberately over-loud X-Mas music. If you have ever in your entire life wondered how a horrible a piece of music has to be to distract you from Jason Stathm playing the bongos on someone's spine, this film answers that question. Definitively.
The second full fight scene, which you have to wait 1 hour and 22 minutes for (unless you are fast forwarding) is OK. Kinda cool. But overall just OK.
Final rating: 5 stars of 10, raised to 6 because of that one final fight scene. In which he wipes out a small army of guys using only a butterknife.
Final Conclusion: let me put it this way, to be polite. Will anyone associated in any way with this film possibly consider using it in their Highlight Reel? Answer: only the aforementioned Davenia McFadden. And that's all.
Final irony: as luck would have it, I saw the Burt Reynolds original. It was a considerably more entertaining film,
Final comment. If you are a car guy, Statham tools around Vegas in a classic Torino GT fastback. That is a seriously cool car, and, I suspect, a nod to the antecedents of this film. For car guys only.
2 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?