Published Apr 29, 2016Bruce Willis is the next Robert De Niro, in the sense that both actors will seemingly do any role that's forced their way. Although that makes perfect financial sense, it's not the best idea when it comes to maintaining a legacy.
Case in point: Precious Cargo, a run-of-the-mill heist movie with little redeeming value. It's too bad, because on paper it seems like one of the more exciting actions films to come out this year.
The film stars Saved By the Bell's Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and while it's fun to imagine Zack Morris going up against John McClane with a bunch of guns, in reality it's anything but.
Gosselaar plays Jack, a conman who is somehow convinced by his former fling (Claire Forlani) to get the gang back together and do one last big heist after being blackmailed by her former crime lord of a boss (Willis). Also, she's pregnant (hence the movie title and its terrible first-year film school double-meaning).
It's a simple enough premise, and at first glance, Precious Cargo has all the usual ingredients for a satisfying B-movie action thriller — including chase scenes, gun-toting beauties (newcomer Jenna B. Kelly, whose role as Jack's sharp-shooting sidekick is underused here) and copious one-liners (courtesy of Gosselaar, who provides the most fun in the film when he's cracking wise). But considering its swampy setting (Mississippi) and boatloads of guns, Precious Cargo never heats up, even when things get steamy between its main characters.
There's an overall lack of tension, partly because it's almost impossible to feel anything for any of the characters on screen: the men act like misogynist and the women (especially in the case of Forlani) are written as overly vindictive. Add one of the most phoned-in performances of Willis' career (quite literally — almost all his scenes involve him talking to someone on a cellphone) and you've got the cubic zirconia of action movies.