A bodyguard-for-hire with big dreams gets in some trouble
with the local mob after he helps a friend avenge her rape.
Wild Card (2015)
Directed by Simon West
Written by William Goldman
Starring Jason Statham, Michael Angarano, Dominik Garcia,
Milo Ventimiglia, Hope Davis, Stanley Tucci, Sofia Vergara,
Anne Heche, Jason Alexander, Max Casella
Remake of 1986's Heat
Based on the novel Heat by William Goldman
Jason Statham has the uncanny ability to elevate any movie's watchability, regardless of the weak script or paper thin character he happens to be playing. Wild Card is no exception. There are some great moments of character-driven drama, but nothing seems to be connected to an ongoing narrative. Things just happen, like Statham's character winning five hundred grand at a blackjack table in one sitting while Ray Charles's "What I'd Say" blares in the background. There are so many plot threads dangling, but none of them get pulled on long enough to become our main story.
Meet Nick Wild, a name that would soon become associated mainly with the fox from Zootopia. Nick is a bodyguard-for-hire, as well as a gambling addict, an expert in hand-to-hand combat, and a guy who knows everyone worth knowing in Vegas. When a friend of his (Garcia) is raped by a connected gangster (Ventimiglia), Nick helps her get her revenge, which puts him in the mob's crosshairs. Meanwhile, a wealthy software prodigy (Angarano) hires Nick to show him how to have some balls. Also, Jason Alexander shows up for one scene, after Sofia Vergara pops in for one scene too. It's a who's who of former TV stars up in here. Too bad it doesn't help the movie all that much.
The film's biggest sin is the super abrupt ending that tries to wrap everything up in a big bow, but fails miserably. There are a bunch of loose ends that just get ignored, particularly the fact that Nick is now in deep shit with the Demarco crime family after stabbing their favorite son in the throat. Despite the film's many problems, it's far from boring thanks to Statham's committed performance. The guy always brings the heat, even in the worst of movies.