Wild Card – ★ ★ ★ ★ DVD Review

Wild Card4.0 Stars

I’ve never been let down by a Jason Statham movie.  That being said, I’m not going to watch Expendables 2 or 3…  This time out, Statham plays Nick Wild, a “security consultant” in Las Vegas.  Nick’s big plan is to somehow come up with $500,000 so he can get out of town and live free and clear for five years.  He’s calculated it to the penny, now all he needs is a bit of luck to help him win his way out.  Time is running out for Nick on this occasion though, he has helped a friend get revenge on the man who assaulted her, a low level mobster named Danny DeMarco (Milo Ventimiglia), and now he’s being hunted by his goons.  A nice tale of double (and probably even triple) revenge combining style and characters reminiscent of a ’70s crime drama with the action and intensity of a modern day thriller.

The screenplay was based on the novel 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) and at first I thought that some of the scenes were a little hokey, but then the character development took off and I was sold on this one.  Nick is a man who makes his own problems and lies to himself about why he’s in them.  He will never get out of Vegas if he hits it big, because he’s a gambler and he will always think he can hit it bigger.  His friend Holly (Dominik García-Lorido) is initially the victim, and you want her to get her revenge, but you can see her as the “puppet master” and playing Nick like a fiddle until he agrees to assist her, putting them both in greater danger.  Along the way we’re treated to a host of other characters who may only be in the film for a few short scenes but do play key parts in explaining Nick to us.  Stanley Tucci as the crime lord “Baby” was excellent, and to me perhaps the most interesting character of the film.

Don’t worry, this wasn’t all character and dialogue driven, there were plenty of fights to keep the flow of the story going, and as always Statham delivers exciting fight scenes.  Top marks for a film that I hadn’t even heard of.

Bottom Line:  What I usually love about Statham’s films is the realism, in that he usually gets the crap kicked out of him at least once a film.  This time he didn’t, at least not physically.  In fact you could say that he beat himself up more than any of the foes he faced did.


Posted on 15-03-29, in 4 Star, Movie Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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