"Well, I've been knocked down, blown up, lied to, shit on, and shot at. So nothing surprises me much anymore, except the things that people do to each other.
I'm a licensed pilot, took karate in Tokyo.I lectured on economics at Yale.I can memorize the front pages of the New York Times in five minutes and repeat it back to you in five weeks.I was the National Golden Gloves champion three years in a row. I'm fluent in four languages and can wrestle with a menu in five more. Jesus!
Don't interrupt me. There's more.
Yeah. I lie a lot. "
A film with Statham always guarantees a few solid brawls that usually end up pretty painful for his opponents. In the meantime he's commenting on everything with his juicy dialect. After testing his dramatic skills in the engaging film "Hummingbird" and getting his act together again in "Homefront" after the reasonable disappointing films "Parker" and "Safe", he is now back with a straightforward hardcore action movie. Unfortunately, the action scenes can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Nick Wild (Jason Statham) is a kind of bodyguard offering his services to wealthy gamblers as they are trying their luck at the gaming tables in the casinos of Las Vegas. And on the side he also takes some small jobs like for instance acting as a punch-bag for losers who want to impress their girlfriend. A woman called Holly (Dominik Garcia-Londo) asks for help one day because she's treated in a rather bad by a local tough guy. And there's also a very young multi millionaire asking for protection. Those are the two central themes of this film, together with the simple fact that Nick also has some personal problems notably a drinking and gambling problem.
The first storyline with tough guy Danny (Milo Ventimiglia) is responsible for the brutal part of the film. Not very original and on several occasions this was used in other revenge movies. The villain mistreats someone. The "good guy" mediates. The end result is a series of fights. And those fights are fierce with Statham defending himself with anything he can get his hands on. Highly original action moments which are very painful for his opponents. The moment I start handing out pseudo punches myself, means to me that the action is entertaining enough. You can expect Statham going nuts again and kicking some ass.
The second story is the more serious part in which the weaknesses of Nick Wild take center stage. His drinking and gambling is what keeps him in Las Vegas. His reputation in this dissolute city and the company of bar girls and croupiers won't stop him from dreaming about a more exotic place. This is represented in the form of an idyllic spot with a boat. His ultimate plan is therefore to save up enough money to clear off and leave all that misery behind him.
My final conclusion is a bit split after watching this popcorn movie. You can't call it a real action movie because they are a bit too skimpy. And the serious drama isn't developed in such a way that you are impressed by it. Statham is simply Statham as we know him from all his films. That's a fact that Statham fans can be certain of. And besides Stanley Tucci (who remains engraved in my memory as the strict airport manager in "The Terminal") as the comic casino boss Baby and the very limited contribution of Jason "Seinfeld" Alexander as Pinky, a lawyer joining the same office as Nick, there are further no other significant roles. For me this average movie could be turned into an abbreviated version with all the action fragments assembled in succession.
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