Wild Card Review – House Wins in This Vegas Action Thriller

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Wild Card, a Las Vegas action adventure, from Lionsgate, brings to the screen a high octane, supercharged, testosterone fueled, hand-to-hand, fast moving muscle thriller complete with high rollers, lady luck, gambler’s frenzy and a mini mob war.

Jason Statham stars along with Sophia Vergara, Anne Heche, Jason Alexander, Hope Davis, and Stanley Tucci. Wild Card also stars Dominik Garcia-Lorido, Max Casella, Milo Ventimiglia and Michael Angarano. Wild Card was written by William Goldman and directed by Simon West.

Wild Card opens with a scene stealing performance by Sophia Vergara who shimmies across the camera running to her less than hunky new lover, announcing forever devotion, pledging lifelong happiness, the ultimate Vegas long shot win.

Cut immediately to the hospital entrance where the crushing Vegas loss is rolled out of a car and left in the parking lot, badly beaten an unknown female crawls toward the ER door.

We meet Nick Wild, a transplanted local with a still fresh Aussie accent, charming the waitresses, offering words of the wise and holding on to a dream that has him sailing away literally.

His decade of debauchery as clean up muscle in Vegas has left him jaded to say the least, well known, and even the scum, okay the local enforcers consider him a stand up kind of guy.

A lethal weapon, his skills are well hidden, beneath his gruff although challenging exterior, always a nice guy in the end, an avenger, he holds onto his dream.

Today, with hair of the dog clinging, he heads over to the dingy out of the way office he shares with a quick fix lawyer who manages those forever vows that petrify in the light of day.

Shuffling through the pile of month old bills on his desk, the two pause when the door opens and east coast start up success, a tech kid who sold the newest software to the global giant walks in ready to play the Vegas game. His demeanor and youthful appearance by his own admission are the reason he seeks the security services of Nick Wild.

Terms set Wild and Cyrus played well by Michael Angarano, meet up in the vibrant and seducing world of the Vegas casino, lights, bells, whistle, sights and sounds of lady luck holding the attention of many a man long after the tables are cold and reason beckons.

Knowing the kid would drop his allowance, Nick Wild takes him to a gentler arena where he could make smaller start up bets, playing and losing longer while gaining experience.

The newbie action brings the comedic element as Nick Wild, avenger, dons the cape as our unknown badly beaten female has called him pleading with him to find the penthouse big time hoodlum responsible for her injuries.

Soon, Wild has found himself at the penthouse knocking on the door of the son of a mob boss who is known for his lack of manners, so to speak. Brutalizing women is his strength. Wild shows up and decides to create an understanding between the two.  

Always a lover of the long shot, Wild moves on the two hulk bodyguards and in minutes they are down, with Danny DeMarco, played by Milo Ventimiglia, ready to kill. As retribution is delivered a mini-war begins.

Wild Card, I wanted to say, is standard Statham but that would be shortsighted. Wild Card packs a punch and ups the ante with superbly choreographed action sequences.

The overlaying story and plot lines humanize the man of steel image and the gentler softer side with dreams, an avenger of the disenfranchised, creates sympathetic element that has every women swooning and draws in a female audience.

Stanley Tucci, Jason Alexander, Hope Davis and Anne Heche show up in strong supporting roles.

Wild Card, action packed and story driven, grabs the attention and holds on even when our man disappoints.

Wild Card opens in theaters everywhere and on VOD Friday, January 30, 2015. 

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