On Netflix, a Forgotten Jason Statham Movie

Not every action movie starring Jason Statham is a financial success. We offer 2015’s Wild Card as evidence, which had a brief run in theaters before being released on video on demand. Wild Card was a critical and financial flop despite having a strong cast, yet it’s doing very well on streaming. Given the competition, the movie’s current ranking of #3 on Netflix’s top 10 movies is extremely noteworthy. The Man from Toronto, a new action comedy from the streaming service, is right behind it at #2, while Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises is right behind it at #4.

Jason Statham’s character, Nick Wild, stands out from other gamblers because he can support his addiction by working as a bodyguard (or “chaperone,” as Wild loves to call it). If you pay enough, Wild will go out of his way to protect you while you lose your money at the poker tables and even let you slap him around to impress your date. However, just because he enjoys generating money doesn’t imply he lacks a sense of honor, as some Las Vegas mobster realize after raping Nick’s friend Holly (Dominik Garcia)

Of course, going against the mob rarely ends well, as Jason Statham’s character discovers after brutally assaulting Danny DeMarco and his henchmen (Milo Ventimiglia). Although Holly is kind enough to save DeMarco from being castrated for assaulting her, which is something few would fault her for, and instead takes $50,000 from him, the mob boss is less than appreciative of the punishment served to him. Nick becomes especially vulnerable to DeMarco once he discovers that he is wealthy and preoccupied with his addiction. DeMarco then brings Nick to a crucial meeting with Baby Face, the top mob boss in Vegas (Stanley Tucci).

Despite having a production budget of only $30 million, Wild Card only made $6.7 million, falling short of breaking even. All indications before Wild Card’s Netflix re-release suggested that it would be everyone’s least preferred Jason Statham film. It received enough negative reviews on Rotten Tomatoes to receive a 31 percent critics score. While the audience rating for action movies like this typically rises at least a little bit, in this case, at 29%, it falls short of the rating given by the reviewers.

The 1987 Burt Reynolds film Heat (not to be confused with the 1995 version starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino), which in turn was adapted from the 1985 William Goldman book, is the source material for the remake, Wild Card. For several years, according to rumors, Statham worked alone on the remake’s development. At one point, Brian De Palma (The Untouchables) was purportedly in talks to serve as the film’s director. Simon West (Con Air), however, ended up serving as the film’s director. When West and Statham worked together on The Mechanic in 2011, Statham first promoted the film, and he maintained the promotion when they both worked on The Expendables 2 the following year.

Nobody should be surprised that the reviews for Wild Card weren’t favorable to Jason Statham. He obviously isn’t the type of man who develops movies only to swim through Oscar nominations. His most well-regarded films typically feature him as a member of an ensemble cast, such as Spy and Furious 7 (both of which, curiously, were released the same year as Wild Card).

He performs as bodyguards, carriers, and perhaps a beekeeper soon? Yes, the report that Jason Statham would star in The Bee Keeper first surfaced in August. David Ayer of the Suicide Squad will helm the forthcoming action thriller, which will be heavily influenced by “the mythology of beekeeping.” According to reports, Statham’s character will be on a mission of revenge, and we will find out that he was formerly a part of a secret society known as The Beekeepers.

If, while you’re waiting for the buzz (pun shamelessly intended without apology) for The Bee Keeper you’re curious about Wild Card, it’s streaming now on Netflix. The film is directed by Simon West and stars Jason Statham, Michael Angarano, Milo Ventimiglia, Dominik Garcia, Anne Heche, Sofia Vergara, Max Casella, Jason Alexander, Hope Davis, and Stanley Tucci.

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