Thursday, 26 March 2015

REVIEW - WILD CARD (SIMON WEST)


Now, this is a curious one. One that makes you wonder what exactly those involved thought they were getting into. Hey, a job's a job! I'm not always one to require clarity from a film, but a sense of what that film intends to achieve can't hurt. Wild Card no doubt was once a rather different proposition than it ended up, with its conflicting artistic impulses and stuttering storyline; what remains is rarely less than satisfactory, but truly never more. And, while I may have responded favourably toward many aspects of this film, they lack cumulative impact. Simon West, directing, displays no clear idea of what binds Wild Card's multitudinous narrative and stylistic strands together - indeed, he displays no care to even develop such an idea, and he coaxes only a serviceable performance from Jason Statham, the one common feature throughout. As the eccentricities of this character fail to align with Statham's indifferent turn, we amble through a procession of subplots that are diverting in themselves, but whose power dissipates as soon as the scene changes, and attention is diverted elsewhere. Yet talent abounds in Wild Card, albeit in concentrated doses - an eclectic combination including Oscar-winning composer Dario Marianelli, Corey Yuen on choreography in sparingly-used action sequences, and actors who come close to making Wild Card as riveting as it ought to be, actors like Hope Davis and Stanley Tucci. And with West, Statham and writer William Goldman on board, that sounds like a curious mix, doesn't it?