2015 Movie Trailer – Wild Card – starring Jason Statham

By Michael Vass | December 13, 2014

In modern Hollywood, remakes are not only a constant, but for some actors it is a means of steady work. More and more, Jason Statham is becoming an actor of this ilk. He has already been in 6 feature films that are direct remakes. In 2015, his 7th remake will hit theaters.

Jason Statham is easily the most successful action star of the new millennium. He has a total of 39 films since 1998 that he has or is scheduled to appear in. Of those, his major successes have been the Transporter and Expendables series. In total, including scheduled films to 2016, Statham has appeared in 25 action films.

What is of note is that in each of the remakes with Statham, all are remakes of films from the 1970′s. It would seem that Statham has an affinity for that time period. Or directors are drawn to Statham to bring current day action and sensibilities to the unrepentant machismo of the 1970′s films.

The latest remake, Wild Card, appears to be an unflinching copy of Burt Reynolds’s film Heat (not to be confused with the DeNiro/Pacino heist film of the same name but vastly different plot). This new film has Statham playing a gambling addict/hired muscle exactly the same as Reynolds portrayed. The films are set in Las Vegas. The motivation in the film, and the villain, match up as if cloned.

So where does the Statham film detract from the original? It wouldn’t be suggested to take any bets on the resolution with the antagonist of the film (though the film has not been seen as yet). Perhaps the only real difference will be if director Simon West (Expendables 2) decides to take the same revisionist tones with this film as he did in the remake of The Mechanic – also starring Statham.

If the film does follow the trend of most current remakes, and the prior film by director West, then it will be an enjoyable film. The current generation of movie-goers are unlikely to have seen the original film and thus it should be a fresh experience for them. Fans of Burt Reynolds will likely be less impressed, but they would be a minority of the target audience of this film.

The biggest thing that should be said about this film is that it will not be the action-fest most Statham fans will be hoping for. In fact, unless director West seriously departs from the original screenplay (which seems unlikely based on the movie trailer), this will be a film more dialogue and character driven than kicks or blades. How fans react to Jason Statham as a more dramatic actor may mean future films with less and less action as Statham transitions into more conventional acting roles.

The result, based on the trailer and the way The Mechanic generally mimicked the theme of the original, is likely another fast paced yet unremarkable trip down memory lane. Perhaps the most original thing about the remake, other than the actual fight scenes with Statham, may be the following: **Potential SPOILER ALERT** Once again it is likely that the original ending will be filmed as a mirror version. **End potential SPOILER**

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