REVIEW: Marauders (2016) – ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Marauders (2016)


The plot of this movie is like one of those balls of A/V cables stuck somewhere behind the TV. Unravelling it isn’t particularly complicated, but it’s still a dull and grey mess that simply demands to be ignored, or avoided if possible. That’s basically the skinny on this cash grab – for a movie that was promoted quite thinly then released on VOD, you should know what to expect when it promises to be an intricate corruption thriller/actioner, starring Bruce Willis and Dave Bautista. What happens when a screenwriter gets narrative ideas above his station?  Well, here we are, not in theatres, but hey, stick a big name or two in there, see what happens.

The film sees a faceless ex-military fire team go all Robin Hood, hitting banks then giving the millions they plunder to local missionaries.  On their tail are a pair of FBI agents (Christopher Meloni, Dave Bautista), along with some other no-name actors that I’m having difficulty summoning the willpower to Google.  Bruce Willis is the high-rise banker feeling the pinch of this banditry, this is why (right?!) he looks sullenly off into the distance, despite always being in a room with no distance to look into.  Eventually, a corporate conspiracy is uncovered featuring corrupt senators, desperate cops and sullen bankers.

This conspiracy is so convoluted yet under cooked with too many players that by the end of the movie I simply did not give a fuck.  Shit, by the halfway mark I’d given up.  There are bent senators, bent cops, a plot to murder a family member, a plot to save a family member, bent soldiers versus honest soldiers, hidden money, safety deposit boxes… just a huge mess of loose ends thrown at the screen.  The robbers basically have no story or character, either, they just show up in horribly filmed heists a handful of times.

It’s funny, even though Bruce Willis is on the poster of this movie, front and centre, I knew better than to expect Willis to actually be in the movie.  You simply accept that Bruce Willis likes to appear on covers and get paid, but not to actually work.  Okay.  So maybe Bautista will make this movie better, I thought.  Well no, Bautista is barely in this one either.  The old trick of having big names appear in your movie for 6 minutes, then stretch out that screen time through sparse intervals… it doesn’t work anymore, it never did.  And that’s a shame because Bautista’s underwritten character (everyone is badly written in this mess) is played well by him, such as it is possible.

The movie has good performances and a nice location, big city, big feel at times.  Expensive streets get blocked off so that filming can commence.  But this film is deathly boring and once again we’ve been slapped across the face by Bruce Willis, with his other hand being held out.