The Misfits. M, 94 minutes. One star.
Former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan leads this heist caper film that pairs a photogenic cast with the sun-drenched locations of Abu Dhabi. It is, well, not great, but all of those things I just mentioned, coupled with enough expensive things getting ridden or blown up will absolutely appeal to a wide audience. I mean the kind of audience that just love the Fast and Furious franchise. I'm not being a film snob here. What I'm trying to say is, this film has the potential to make a lot of money.
The Misfits are a gang of bank robbers in the Robin Hood school of ethics. They plunder bank safe deposit boxes across the globe and distribute their loot to the needy.
This gang includes Ringo (Nick Cannon), The Prince (Rami Jaber), Violet (Jamie Chung), Hope Pace (Hermoine Corfield) and Wick (Mike Angelo). The team get wind of an ethically unmissable target in a for-profit prison on the Arabian Peninsula run by the morally corrupt Schultz (Tim Roth) who is using the facility to hide a gold stockpile for terrorists.
A pickpocket with the kind of strategic mind that screams for bigger scores, Richard Pace (Brosnan) is enlisted by the gang to help plot their insurgence and escape from the facility with its gold.
These are interesting times for filmmakers, their industry stood on its head. Dinosaurs who can't adapt to the new era will fall to the side, and disruptive or intrepid thinkers will rise.
There's an element of invention in this heist caper film. It's not in the script - it's a fairly shoddy pastiche of a thousand films the genre has put out, notably Ocean's Eleven and The Italian Job. It's not coming from its director, Finnish filmmaker Renny Harlin. He made some brilliant films on his arrival in Hollywood, including The Long Kiss Goodnight and Die Hard 2. But times have been tough for Harlin since.
What I did find intriguing about this film is its Arabian sensibilities. It makes the most of some spectacular locales in the Emirates including the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers hotel and the gargantuan aquarium at the Atlantis hotel in Dubai. The producers have accessed some hybrid funding from the US and the Emirates and good luck to them for the franchise the film's ending seems to set up.
The screenplay harvests every moment from some earlier film, which makes sense with writer Kurt Wimmer known for reboots of more successful earlier films like Point Break and Total Recall.
The characters are built to display on-screen quirkiness which, again, will appeal to a large audience.
Brosnan gives this film everything it needs from a former Bond. He bring his characteristic wit and charm and I hope the filmmakers paid handsomely for it. Brosnan's natural ease loans the film's implausible reasoning some believability. A gang of high-end grifters need a reasonable level of panache for their schtick to work. However, I had an "emperor's new clothes" moment once I heard Brosnan sing in the Mamma Mia! movie. There's no coming back from that. He can wear all the high-end watches and power suits he wants.
Probably the saddest thing about this film is that its very existence moves the 1961 Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe film of the same name to second place in an online search. To say that film is superior to this one is like saying the performances of Meryl Streep are superior to a bout of gastroenteritis. Gastroenteritis is, in fact, one of the funnier plot devices in this film.