#REVIEW: “THE MISFITS”
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
Richard Pace (Pierce Bronsnan) has just escaped from prison and is already up to his old tricks stealing from the rich. He gets picked up by a group calling themselves “The Misfits” who want to recruit him to assist with a gold heist in a high security prison in the Middle East. Pace is initially reluctant to join the group when he hears what they want to do with the gold, but quickly changes his mind.
From the on-set, THE MISFITS feels like a high-concept Action film that belongs in the 1990s; the kind of movie with flashy Box Art that you would have rented from Blockbuster for the weekend back in the day. For one thing, the Film is directed by Renny Harlin, whose resume includes ’90s Thrillers like Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger and The Long Kiss Goodnight. For another, the Film is so over-the-top ridiculous that any moment of seriousness feels unintentionally hilarious (likely due to the writing contributions of early millennium Gun Fu Auteur Kurt Wimmer). I enjoyed watching it more than I thought I would, though it is challenging to think of THE MISFITS as being anything other than a genuinely archaic piece of entertainment. While it may have had the desire to play in the sandbox of postmodern Action-Thrillers, it lacks the pacing, style, structure and feel of its contemporaries. It delights in overdoing and layering on the sleight of hand misdirections, and then ends up having trouble balancing itself back out.
In short, it wants to be something it is not and has incredible difficulty coming to terms with it.
The Cast is enjoyable and has fun in their roles despite being underwritten, one-dimensional and in some cases, underutilized. They each get a moment or two to shine, but they could have been developed a bit more. Jamie Chung soars as a bad ass female assassin (whose only real trait is that she hates men) and Rami Jaber has a blast as the enigmatic Prince with connections no one understands. Nick Cannon is on the Film’s chaotic wavelength, yet ends up being more grating and annoying than he does anything else. He is entertaining in small doses, and the less said about his awful narration, the better. The Film’s strongest asset is Brosnan, who is more laid back and casual than usual. He still rocks a suit and does a terrific job bouncing his dialogue and actions off the rest of the cast. His sheer charisma more than makes up for his underwritten character.
I expected THE MISFITS to be terrible and rather thankfully, ended up with an enjoyable piece of throwback pulp that would be a light and breezy watch on a rainy weekend. It does not reinvent the wheel and has its share of issues, but it has an enjoyable and game cast ready to jump into action at a moment’s notice. If only it was released 25 years ago instead of now.
VVS Films release THE MISFITS on Digital and On-Demand services on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.