Some may say that Jason Statham is cut out for only one type of role that is probably immortalized by his best performance to date i.e. Frank Martin (Transporter). I would tend to agree with them but having said that, Statham hasn’t let the people who call him a stereotype come in the way of what has been built into a brand of action with a solid fan following from across the world. I am one of those fans.
A typical Jason Statham movie has non-stop action from the first frame to the end credits. There is barely a respite for anyone both in the movie and those who are watching it. Edge of the seat sequences are usually accompanied by the dry drawl that we have begun to identify with and love over the past few years. And there are some slick dialogues thrown in as garnish. Wild Card checks almost all boxes except the non-stop frenetic action sequences.
Simon West brings to the fore an style of Jason Statham that hasn’t been used too often. The highlight of Wild Card would be the last but one fight sequence that plays in slow motion to the background of “White Christmas” by The Drifters. Of course let’s not underplay the other two sequences that shows Statham incapacitating the bad guys with a credit card and then a breakfast spoon & knife.
Nick Wild (Statham) is a “Security Consultant” based out of Las Vegas. There is a hint of a backstory by his friend Holly (Dominik García-Lorido) about how he was in the dumps and Holly was his only friend. So when Holly is raped and beaten by Danny DeMarco (Milo Ventimiglia) and his men, it is upto Nick to give Holly an opportunity to get back and DeMarco. That part of getting back sets up the first half of the movie. The second half is about Nick trying to stay alive.
Wild Card is a much slower movie than what one would expect. In fact, by Statham standards it probably crawls like a snail even with the fight sequences. But the pace and direction actually add value to the narrative. The sequences are extremely well-defined and actually great to watch in slow motion. A different execution to a Statham movie that moves just that little bit away from the stereotype and keeps the audience engaged.
Statham is of course at his dry best but watch out for a small but very important role towards the end of the 2nd half that is played by one Stanley Tucci that overpowers everyone else in the cast in terms of acting. Overall a very enjoyable flick. A definite watch for Statham fans. Non fans may probably sit on the fence. I give it a 6 on 10 and say that you should watch. Maybe not on screen but do watch.
Watch the trailer on http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi1571139097/?ref_=tt_ov_vi