Wild Card is an odd movie. Not a good movie, but odd.
It’s the second adaptation of a novel made into a film, and it’s also the second of those two adaptations to be an enormous flop at the box office. You think they would have learned by now.
Nick (Statham) is a bodyguard for hire in Las Vegas. He has an incurable gambling problem, and the film chronicles his life over a few days as he deals with his friends and enemies. The major plot focuses on Holly, a friend of Nick’s who was brutally assaulted by some gangster types and needs his help tracking them down. He does this in one or another way (sorry for not spoiling the awful movie, but I have standards still), and then the next 45 minutes of the film jarringly become about him dealing with his gambling issues. It’s like half of one movie was crudely grafted onto another half of an entirely different movie. The first plot makes a reappearance in the last ten minutes, but by then it’s far too late to salvage anything from this.
The main problem is that the movie couldn’t decide what it wanted to be. The few fight scenes that are there are done well, but the long extended periods of Nick ruminating on how much he hates his addiction do not contrasts well with this. If the film had been turned into an anti-action piece about the destructive nature of the male power fantasy, then maybe it could have meant something. Instead, it’s just Jason Statham being underused for 90 minutes by a director that should have known better.
I hope Statham’s next annual release is slightly better than this.