After a botched heist, Eddie (Bruce Willis), a murderous crime boss, hunts down the seductive thief named Karen (Claire Forlani) who failed him. In order to win back Eddie’s trust, Karen recruits her ex-lover and premier thief named Jack (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) to steal a cargo of rare precious gems. But when the job goes down, allegiances are betrayed and lines are crossed as Jack, Karen, and Eddie face off in a fateful showdown.
*synopsis courtesy of VVS Films*
Precious Cargo releases on Friday in select theaters and on demand in Canada but I got the chance to see it early thanks to an advanced copy via VVS Films. I admit that I didn’t know much about this film but I was definitely excited for another chance to see Bruce Willis in a film. Here he plays a role that I am not used to seeing him in, as a villain. Also, I am familiar with the star of the film Mark-Paul Gosselaar from his work on Saved by the Bell but I haven’t seen anything else from him since (except for a recurring stint during the last season of C.S.I).
Here Willis plays Eddie, a murderous crime boss who is trying to hunt down a seductive thief named Karen (Forlani) who failed him in a botched heist. In order to redeem herself, she enlists her ex-lover and other thief named Jack (Gosselaar) to steal a cargo of rare precious gems. But once the job goes down, Karen and Jack are betrayed as lines are crossed resulting in an eventual showdown between them and Eddie.
A good thing about this film is that it starts us off right away with the action and keeps us there pretty much the whole time. There was definitely a fair amount here with vehicle chases, some gun battles, and some fight scenes. I thought these scenes were above average and kind of exciting. I was surprised to see Gosselaar in this environment and I found that he excelled, partaking in the majority of it. The other main actors involved also did well. Although with these types of films, it seemed pretty obvious that they simply dumbed down the competition in order to make the main characters just that much better. That’s fine since the film has to give us people to root for.
That’s the theory at least but I don’t think it fell into effect here. This is because I found that the film did a poor job at developing its characters. Jack was compelling enough, by default, but we never really knew anything about them and couldn’t find myself relating to his motivations because of that. I would have liked to have known more in order for certain moments in the plot to have a greater impact. The others characters aren’t that much better either. Sure Karen is Jack’s ex-lover but since the plot relies so heavily on this, it would had been better if they had further elaborated so I could have understood it more and the plot would make more sense. They also tried to give Jack a crew of wacky and eccentric characters by quickly trying to establish them as such but I simply just didn’t care about them and I forgot about them as soon as the film ended.
The plot here isn’t overly complicated and not overly original either. I found myself often forgetting what was going on. I (and perhaps others) sometimes got distracted by the action. Jack and Karen have to work together in order to get Eddie off their case. Sure there were twists and turns, this is a film were talking about, but I never felt that they were ever in danger. This made the film seem very anti-climatic to me. This could also be because of the script which was pretty bad and a lot of the performances, especially Willis as Eddie. Willis’s performance was the textbook definition of phoning it in as he just never bothered to try here. Sure he brought an imposing presence, because he’s Bruce Willis, but I never found him very menacing or scary, just almost asleep on screen. Everyone else was okay but I did find they suffered from what I previously mentioned.
Overall, this is a decent, albeit forgettable action movie that unfortunately doesn’t bring much more to the table.