Anointed the next big action star for the masses (naturally we're not including The Rock here...), Jason Statham has built a career on mid-budgeted action flicks that play off his gruff exterior. While he'll pop up in Fast and Furious 7 as a villain, Wild Card won't get him any closer to headlining a film of that scale - despite some admittedly fun moments.
on Air director Simon West teams up with Statham for the third time (after The Expendables 2 and The Mechanic), for this Las Vegas set tale of a bodyguard with a gambling problem. Luckily, said gambling problem also comes paired with an innate ability to be able to kick the absolute shite out of people. Something that comes in handy when a pal of his is brutally attacked by a mobster's son and asks him for help.


ased on his own novel, Heat, William Goldman also writes the screenplay for material that quite probably had more action elements implemented to appease Statham's core audience. The British actor absolutely has presence and obvious physicality. The fight scenes are when interest peaks, as time slows down for our hero (hilariously named 'Nick Wild'), as he violently disposes of roomfuls of henchmen.
here's also an underlining sense of wry humour and urge to be something else maybe a little more Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, but it doesn't have the level of wit or smarts to take it to anywhere near those lofty heights. Goldman introduces a lot of characters but doesn't go particularly deep in terms of context with the exception of a couple of lines - even Statham's Wild isn't really given a lot to chew on. He might as well be wearing a t-shirt that says "former Special Forces etc".
tatham could play this type of role in his sleep, but West does something a little different with the action which is enough to keep you entertained until the next scuffle. Also, Stanley Tucci turns up for a few minutes, instantly making those scenes better than the rest of the film.
f action is what you're looking for, then wait for the superb Keanu Reeves starrer John Wick in a couple of weeks.