Movie Review: Marauders (2016)
“The rich will pay”
Director: Steven C. Miller
Cast: Bruce Willis, Christopher Meloni, Dave Bautista
Synopsis: A tough Cincinnati cop searches for the mastermind behind a string of daring bank robberies.
Not so much a bastard child of Michael Mann’s Heat as an adopted waif that shares none of its genes or personality, Steven C. Miller’s Marauders beats an inevitable path to DVD without troubling the theatrical circuits. It’s the kind of bad movie in which trained police officers stand immobile in plain view while engaged in a gunfight, and in which, with his final breath, a felled officer beseeches those around him to ‘tell my wife I died good.’ It mistakenly believes that blue-grey scenes of perpetual rainfall (even when sunlight can be seen in the near-distance) and slow-motion shots of a man walking towards camera create a brooding moodiness, and that a convoluted plot disclosed with miserly thrift will keep its audience intrigued, when, in fact, it will simply bore them rigid.
Marauders opens with a slick bank heist during which an assistant manager is executed for no apparent reason, an unorthodox act which leads tough police detective Montgomery (Christopher Meloni – Man of Steel, I am Wrath) to believe there is a hidden motive behind the robberies, especially when the only clue found at the scene of the crime is a fingerprint belonging to a man previously believed to be dead. The bank’s multi-millionaire owner, Hubert (Bruce Willis – Moonrise Kingdom, Fire with Fire), comes under suspicion when Montgomery and his team discover that Hubert’s much younger brother was a hostage killed in a botched rescue mission in which the dead man was a member, but, as the heist turns out to be just the first in a series, implicating Hubert proves to be more difficult than expected.
Buried deep within this clumsily constructed movie lies a plot with some potential, but it’s obscured by its poor structure and too many characters stepping on each other’s toes as they vie for screen time in which to play out their various sub-plots. Meloni, who is slowly but surely carving out a niche for himself in DTV crime movies, struggles to bring any emotional texture to an identikit character whose entire personality is culled from a variety of TV and movie cops that have graced our screens over the past four decades. He at least proves willing: Willis, who appears on screen for a total of maybe five minutes despite receiving top billing, continues to exploit his name for all its worth with the kind of throwaway material with which, ten years ago, his agent wouldn’t even have bothered him.
(Reviewed 11th July 2016)