I get the feeling that the glory days of Bruce Willis (Die Hard, Moonrise Kingdom) are long behind us. His most recent works definitely suggest so, and none do so more than Precious Cargo. Yet another tedious action movie that would’ve actually been quite good if it weren’t for the plot, writing and acting from everyone involved. A movie that screams “generic” from the very first moments of screen time, it’s a genuine shame.
For the first twenty minutes or so, I was actually enjoying Precious Cargo. The few glimpses we’re given of Bruce Willis’ villainous character are really well done. But the problem there is that you can just tell he doesn’t want to be there whatsoever.
It’s one of those rare movies that has wholly had a negative impact on my perception of a once solid actor. Willis, it is now clear, doesn’t care for the roles he takes on, so long as he gets a paycheck at the end of it all. Maybe that explains his lackluster performance here, and his lack of time on the camera. Considering his name is plastered all over the movie, it’s a surprise to see how little of the film he is actually in. It reminds me of Killing Gunther, which advertised Arnold Schwarzennegger, but in actual fact only used him for ten minutes of the hour and a half it ran.
As for the rest of the cast, they’re a bunch of nobodies that are borderline poor. There’s something oddly likeable about the care free attitude of our protagonist, played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar. The problem there though is that this care free attitude doesn’t sit well with the tone of the movie on the whole, especially when it tries to ramp up the drama, instead we’re left with a comedian in the midst of a gunfight. The rest of the cast are a visual can-can of action stereotypes, from the drunken old buddy to the up and coming assassin, they’re all there. For some reason they play golf a fair bit as well, it still doesn’t make sense to me as to why they do, but it’s in there a fair bit.
Max Adams’ directorial debut is a stinker. An action movie without any decent action and most criminally, poor direction and choreography for the few fight scenes on display. Not to mention the poor and brief Bruce Willis performance, Precious Cargo has nothing precious about it. Just a few vaguely interesting moments that could’ve been executed so much better than they were.