Director: Steven C. Miller
Cast: Bruce Willis, Christopher Meloni, Dave Bautista, Adrian Grenier, Lydia Hull, Tyler Jon Olson, Christopher Rob Bowen, Richie Chance, Chris Hill, Texas Battle, Tara Holt
Runtime: 1 hr 47 mins
Rating: NC-16 (Violence and Coarse Language)
Released By: Shaw
Opening Day: 15 September 2016
Synopsis: When a bank is hit by a brutal heist, all evidence points to the owner (Bruce Willis) and his high-powered clients. But as a group of FBI agents (Christopher Meloni, Dave Bautista and Adrian Grenier) dig deeper into the case — and the deadly heists continue — it becomes clear that a larger conspiracy is at play.
Even one of the biggest stars of Hollywood has bills to pay. So instead of waiting for his next Die Hard outing, Bruce Willis is hogging the limelight of this VOD title, Marauders though he is not exactly in the movie that much. Hey John McClane’s face sells so just get over it.
The leading man here happens to be Chris Meloni whom many will recognize from Man of Steel and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Meloni plays a tough FBI agent, Jonathan Montgomery. Together with his fellow agents which include Stockwell (Dave Bautista), Chase (Lydia Hull) and fresh-out-of-Quantico newbie Wells (Adrian Grenier), they are trying to solve a series of armed robberies. The robbers wear creepy masks, killed random people (or perhaps the victims are linked?) but they gave all the loot to charities. What’s their motive? And why is Hubert (Willis), the owner of Hubert National part of it?
Now you know Bruce Willis never actually carries let alone fire a gun here. He plays a suit and tie, respectable banker that spouts mumbo jumbo about spider and engages in salacious activities with a senator. Wait there’s more to be uncover, a crooked local cop, Mims (Johnathon Schaech) with a dying wife is also in the mix. His guys and him seem to be eyeing the loot as well.
In a more competent movie, Marauders might even take home an award for all the intricate twists and turns. Unfortunately great ideas don’t work on paper unless properly executed, director Steven C. Miller (known for his string of VOD titles) and his writers crammed so much ideologies into one movie that none actually works in the end except for Meloni’s solid acting that pretty much holds everything together. The twist in the end is laughable with all those promised corporate and political conspiracy being largely ignored and unanswered by the third act.
We can’t really confirm if Cincinnati is indeed a place where it rains all the time but we bet a quarter of the budget is spent on creating fake rain. At the very minimum, the heavily soaked atmosphere enhanced the cinematography to an impressive level normally not associated with a VOD title. As for the action, which mainly took place during the few bank heist sequences is mediocre and blatant. This reviewer is pretty sure you have seen better stuff elsewhere.
When it comes to the performances, Jonathan Montgomery is an interesting character. He orders wine, which he doesn’t drink. He still mourned the death of his wife who at some point is revealed to be a cop as well. Meloni nailed it perfectly again this is not a movie which makes good use of his acting. Wrestler turned actor Dave Bautista is totally wasted as the wisecracking Stockwell maybe he urgently needs Dwayne Johnson’s agent and Adrian Grenier simply can’t shake off that Vincent Chase vibe from Entourage. As for our favourite Hollywood star Bruce Willis; he is totally in for the paycheck while zombieing the entire time.
Marauders attempts to pass itself off as an above average cop-and-robbers thriller but it ends up as a convoluted and yawn fest that The Town still remains the best heist movie in recent years.
(Slow-going and awful, more appropriate for a sleepless rainy night)
Review by Linus Tee