Never Bet Against A Man With A Killer Hand
Starring: Jason Statham, Michael Angarano, Dominik Garcia-Lorido, Hope Davis, Milo Ventimiglia, Max Casella, Stanley Tucci, Anne Heche, Jason Alexander, Sofia Vergara
Action Choreographer: Cory Yuen
Director: Simon West
2015 | 92 Minutes | Rated R
“I lie a lot.” – Nick Wild
I’m starting to wonder if Jason Statham is destined/doomed to being remembered by the general public as more of a secondary action character rather than the true action legend that he deserves to be. Movies where he appears as a secondary character like Furious 7 and the soon-to-be-released Spy seem to do well whereas a movie like Wild Card don’t. Wild Card literally made $3,200 on a $30,000,000 budget. Could it really be that bad?
Nick Wild (Jason Statham) is a Las Vegas “security consultant” who longs for a life on a boat in Corsica but is stuck in Sin City because of a gambling addiction. When a friend, Holly, is raped and assaulted by a known Vegas mobster, Nicky Wild will put it all on the line to get revenge.
The movie posters and trailers would leave you to believe that Wild Card is a star studded affair when in actuality Statham is the only big name actor whose part lasts more than five minutes. Anne Heche is a waitress in a couple scenes. Sofia Vergara appears in the first couple minutes and nothing more. Stanley Tucci shows up for a couple minutes as a mob boss of sorts. Jason Alexander shares an office with Jason Statham’s character. It’s just crazy how many actors were contracted for such miniscule parts that could easily have gone to literally anybody else.
Even more disappointing is that an actress that DOES play an important part in the story, that of Holly, isn’t believable to pull off the part. That’s a bit of a problem because she is essentially the emotion behind Nick’s mission.
The whole story is a bit off. Nick is going out of his way, risking his life for a girl he seems to barely care for… a girl who seems to be lying to him… a girl who seems to care more for her own brand of revenge than she does Nick’s wellbeing. I fully expected to find out that there was something that there was more to Holly’s story than she was letting on but it never came. She just left… like all the other actors and actresses to flash in and out of this movie, feeling important in the moment but existing only to push that particular scene forward. The story is just all over the place.
Wild Card slogs along for a good 30 minutes before things start to get interesting. Once the first fight happens I started thinking I could really get into this. These are some stylish fights! We’ve got slow motion, close ups, flashy camera work (but not shaky cam) and most importantly we get a healthy dosage of violence. The problem is, it’s all over too fast. And there’s a grand total of three fights that probably last less than 10 minutes all together.
I’ve never really been able to get into blackjack and, if I’m honest, I don’t really understand all the ins and outs of how the game is properly played but when Nick goes on his streak, it’s a lot of fun to watch. Almost as much fun as the fights.
It’s a good thing that the blackjack was fun because the fights aren’t plentiful enough to carry the slow, meaningless story that Wild Card delivers. Even with the three great fights and a fun bit of gambling, Wild Card is still probably a miss for all but the most diehard of Jason Statham fans.