Precious Cargo review – Pointless thriller

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If you’re looking for precious cargo, try looking somewhere else.

Sigh.

Well, first of all, there’s the plot, which honestly isn’t anything to sing to the heavens about. It is a typical heist movie, along with a twist you can sense coming from a mile away. We are introduced to the main character, Jack (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) – black market arms dealer, Chris Pratt lookalike, and the so-called “Michelangelo of thieves”. One day, his ex-lover and partner in crime Karen (who is now pregnant) shows up and says that she needs help shaking off her old boss, Eddie, after she crossed him by moving ahead with a heist that was supposedly cancelled. Jack, along with a small crew, then helps her out with her plan to steal some valuable diamonds in order to pay Eddie back, while keeping some for personal profit.

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Annual NRA meeting & exhibition, 2016

The fact that during fight scenes, some of the dialogue is greatly obscured by surrounding noises didn’t help the progression of the plot either. There were times I had to strain my ear to hear what was being said over a thunderous boat motor or the loud gunshots being fired, and was still clueless as to what was happening, exactly.

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“Put your hands up. Now wave them like you just don’t care. I SAID WAVE THEM!”

The characters are extremely one-dimensional, embodying only one or two main personality traits and a job they are good at. You have the smart but romantically challenged thief Jack (Mark-Paul Gosselaaar), the cunning two-faced ex-love-interest Karen (Claire Forlani), the apathetic and sometimes pissed off sniper Logan (Jenna B. Kelly), the usually drunk and playful driver (who does not drink when he’s driving, thank god) Andrew (Nick Loeb), and Glenn (Christopher Rob Bowen), the gunman in a dysfunctional relationship aching to kill bad guys (which is basically how I felt towards the director at the end of the movie). The fact that I even had to Google the names of the characters (even the main ones) just shows how forgettable they are.

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Peekaboo.

While being the only character’s name I could remember (because of the similarities with Marvel’s 6 clawed hero), Jenna B. Kelly’s performance as Logan was incredibly drab, wearing the same bored and apathetic expression throughout the movie. I understand that her character is supposed to be the strong, ‘I don’t give a rat’s ass’ kind of character, but when she uses that same face to console, reassure and threaten, the entire performance just becomes rather hollow.

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I’ll give credit where it’s due. That is a very nice chess set.

Even Bruce Willis can’t make his character, the main baddie, likeable; he just comes across as a rather violent asshole. The film tries to build both him and his subordinate up to be this entirely menacing badass by having them be rude and violent to almost everyone around him, but that’s literally all he does. We are given absolutely no other character development for him. Other than the fact that his character does nothing other than threaten, hurt and kill people 24/7. It’s like his sole purpose in life is just to be either violently angry, or smugly threatening. Neither was very entertaining.

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The Look™

Its action… well, the actions are better than its characters and plot, but overall it still falls flat and fails to draw one in, and might even leave one with a slight headache. The majority of the action is made out of gunfights, and what that translates to is a whole lot of ducking, shooting, and ducking again. A whole lot of it. Oh, and maybe a few vehicle chases.

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“No, seriously, have you touched her hair? It’s so soft. No, I don’t care that I’m bald. Tell me the secret or he’ll shoot.”

What makes it worse, is that the fact that the movie tries to shake up (literally) the monotony with a lot of shaky cam tactics. Some parts of the film were vibrating so badly  I wondered if there was an earthquake happening at the shooting. On the plus side, it produces the same effects of a roller coaster for considerably less.

Oh well, at least the popcorn was good.

 

Running time: 89 minutes

Cast: Bruce Willis, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, John Brotherton, Claire Forlani

Release date: 5th May 2016

Christopher Yee

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Christopher Yee

Chris is a frequent traveller of worlds beyond the screen, and has been to places like Skyrim and Ferelden more times than he can count. When not indulging in escapism, he enjoys annoying the neighbours with his guitar and pondering the answers to life's great questions; like the meaning of life, and what to have for lunch.

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