Movie Review: Setup (2011)
“Get Ready to settle the score”
Director: Mike Gunther
Cast: 50 Cent, Bruce Willis, Ryan Phillippe
Synopsis: A group of friends get caught up in a diamond heist that turns deadly.
Mike Gunther’s cheap crime flick Setup has an unusual plot device in that the bad guy only double-crosses his friends to raise the money he needs to pay protection to keep his jailbird dad alive in prison, and had a better writer than Gunther and Mike Behrman been given an opportunity to explore this predicament from the point of view of Vincent Long (Ryan Philippe) instead of following the well-trodden revenge path we have here the film might have been a whole lot better.
50 Cents (Fire with Fire, The Frozen Ground), whose worth equates to 27p in the UK, plays one of the fellow diamond robbers left for dead by Philippe. He’s actually as dead as a man can be after being shot in the shoulder which – unless the weapon is a bloody great bazooka – isn’t actually very dead at all. In fact, after having the bullet plucked from his shoulder by a mate with a pair of tweezers, the wound never bothers 27p again. Then again, his acting range is so limited that he might be registering immense amounts of pain for all we know.
Anyway, 27p contrives by highly unlikely methods to get himself hauled in front of the Mr Big of whatever city he is in. Mr Big is a shaven-headed Bruce Willis (Precious Cargo, Marauders), whose name is plastered all over the publicity for the film but whose screen time amounts to maybe five minutes. Mr Big decides that 27p must obtain $2 million from, erm, well to be honest I’m not really sure who from or why, because it was around about then that I started to lose interest. Willis can do nothing to enliven or improve things – and is singularly unconvincing as a heartless crime lord – and the story just repays our attention by growing increasingly stupid with each plot twist.
It’s really not too difficult to see where it all went wrong: we have here a rap singer (i.e. non-actor) and a screen nice guy (i.e. the opposite of a sadistic killer) directed by a stunt man who also co-wrote the script. It makes you wonder how they got the finance – after all, you wouldn’t pay a dentist to extract your kidney, would you?
(Reviewed 4th November 2011)