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The Most Disappointing Thing About "Wild Card" (2015)

Wild Card was apparently a pretty big bomb from last year. I can't say that it deserved to fail - what I saw was just an average tough-guy drama. Jason Statham does his normal Statham thing, Michael Angarano is fun to watch, and Stanley Tucci wrings all the comedy he can out of a totally thankless bit part.


We Hate Movies uses the term "hangover movie" all the time for quiet, don't-think-too-hard movies that pass the time while you recover.  Having watched this in the right context, I can say it does the job.

But there is one part that I find utterly disappointing, and unfortunately that ended up being the only thing I feel like writing about today.

The movie opens with Max Casella having a lover's spat in a bar with Sofia Vergara while Statham looks on and watches drunkenly.  Casella is frustrated, but not cruel, and Vergara is annoyed, but not cold, so it's clear they could figure out their issues if they just had time to talk.  But then Statham lumbers over and starts pulling some macho douche moves.  He tries hitting on Vergara and taunts Casella into a fight.

Eventually, Casella caves in and decides to throw a punch.  Surprisingly, he gets the upper hand, and Statham lurches away in a stupor to go nurse his wounds.  Vergara and Casella drive away, and the opening credits roll.

Now, you all know that you should never attempt to fight Jason Statham, so obviously the movie is building up to the ol' "pay a guy to take a dive so you can pretend to beat him up and look cool in front of your girlfriend" bit.  And of course, after the credits are done, Max Casella shows up to give Jason Statham a bro hug and pay him a grand for his efforts.  And the the movie continues.

But how about this: what if he didn't?

How cool would that be if that first scene was genuinely how the movie opened?  You see Jason Statham try to get into a bar brawl, but he loses and it turns out he's playing against type as a washed-up schlub?  And he's actually just kind of a joke around town because he used to be tough, but now he's so drunk all the time he can barely keep his balance?

Somebody get on that.  Wild Card gives us the most loserly character Statham has ever played, but I need him to play somebody two shades loserlier.

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