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Times of India
Nick Wild (Jason Statham) is a compulsive gambler from Las Vegas whose revenge trip for his friend Holly (Dominik Garcia-Lorido) leads him into self-discovery. Events roll out shockingly as Nick is trying to hunt down her rapists and protect a rich kid named Cyrus (Michael Angarano) who wants to learn how to be fearless. The film traces how he curbs his relentless gambling, fights his fears, let go off his self-destructive tendency and turn a new leaf in life.
In terms of story, Wild Card seems to be extracted right out of blank pages. There is no story per se but a series of instances lazily strewn together. But what is striking here is that the deftness of Simon West's unusual thrills doesn't allow the vital flaws get the better of the movie. Banking solely on the slick action to work as the film's saving grace, it can be safely said that this is a problematic movie which is watchable yet forgettable.
Based on William Goldman's 1985 novel named Heat, the film defies the formulaic mandates of any staple Statham flick and delves into mock soul searching trysts and messiah acts. You wouldn't walk into his world for the blabbering and it is disappointing to find ample of it here.
The musical slo-mo fight sequences try their best to elevate the film letting unique tools of action - coins, butter knives and credit cards, do their dazzling bits on screen. A particular scene where a rape victim tries to castrate her defiler crackles. But Jason and his co-stars Angarano and Garcia-Loridi are underwhelming.
This ambitious project is an anomalous experimental product that deviates from his regular testosterone charged dramas. The humane tapestry skillfully uses an interesting blend of contrasts to convey Nick's drab routine, for instance, the flashes of a boat in the picturesque backdrop of Corsica add tenderness to the tapestry.
But with an unsurprising climax, weak story and repetitive action, the film fails to be half as good as a regular Statham gag must mandatorily be.
The film was earlier to be directed by Brian De Palma and was later replaced by Simon West.
It's Goldman's first screenplay in 11 years.
Simon West and Jason have worked twice before in The Expendables 2 and The Mechanic.
Jason Statham to maintain his leanness was on a diet comprising of spinach and brown rice.
The film is a remake of the Burt Reynolds crime drama ‘Heat’ that released in 1986.
According to director Simon West, Jason Statham developed the project himself "maybe over five years".
Stanley Tucci's entry seems forced, almost to accommodate a starry cameo.
Holly's primary motive was revenge but when she takes the money from the drawer, her motive seems displaced.
Nick Wild a compulsive gambler does odd jobs around Las Vegas to maintain his expensive addiction. A young millionaire Cyrus Kinnick comes to him for help inorder to acquire from the quality of being fearless. The film begins with a bar brawl which looks evidently put up where a Nick bullies a man and his girlfriend and eventually gets beaten up on purpose by the man to make him look good infront of his girlfriend whom he was trying to convince to get married to him.
Nick is called on by his ex-girlfriend Holly. When Nick meets Holly, he finds out that she was brutally raped and beaten up by three guys at the 'Golden Nugget' and was later thrown off infront of an hospital afterwards. Nick finds out about the man whose name was DeMarco but he and his men try to beat him up. Nick saves himself well and once he overpowers them, he ties them up and gets Holly to the hotel. Holly attempts to get back at them in her nastiest way possible. She even tries to threaten him with castration and humiliates him infront of his men. But DeMarco breaks down and she ends up forgiving him and take 50,000 USD out out his desk before leaving. She splits the money with Nick who takes a casino trip and wins a whopping amount that night. Settling at USD 506,000, a stops a step before cashing in the money. He says though the money will last him many years , it won't be enough for his lifetime. The story suggests that Nick is desperately looking for a way out from his routine and out of Vegas. In one final bet, Nick loses all his money.
Nick is attacked by DeMarco's men and had to fight his way out of the hotel. Mafia boss of the region named Baby calls Nick to meet him. Baby was told by DeMarco that Nick broke into his hotel room, killed his men and stole his money for his gambling addiction. Baby warns Nick that he isn't successful in proving that he is innocent he will be killed to murder two members of the mafia. Nick tells Baby what he did to Holly and the proof is the cut on his penis that Holly's attempt to castrate has left there. When DeMarco refuses to pull down his pants and validate his honesty, Baby realizes nick wasn't untrue.
Cyrus meets Nick after this incident and makes him a deal he can't refuse - 50,000 USD and a flight ticket to Corsica. Nick is again attacked by DeMarco and his men and this time he is forced to kill them to put an end to it all. In the last scene, Nick is seen driving out of Vegas for good to move off closer to his dream of sailing in a boat with a picturesque backdrop.
This American crime drama film starring Jason Statham, Michael Angarano, Dominik Garcia-Lorido, Milo Ventimiglia, Hope Davis, and Stanley Tucci is based on the 1985 novel Heat by William Goldman, and is a remake of the 1986 adaptation that starred Burt Reynolds. Micro blogging site Twitter is abuzz with the audience tweeting their experience after watching the film. Here are some of the responses from Twitter...
Everyone is allowed 1 crappy movie for the year. Jason, that was yours. Wild Card was utter rubbish!