Review: A lukewarm action-thriller, ‘The Misfits’ is neither fast nor furious
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Stealing from bad people is the common way movies warm us to the perpetrators of elaborate heists, but harder to hide is when the movie itself openly pilfers from other, better movies. Case in point, the synthetically swanky, Abu Dhabi-set Pierce Brosnan-starrer “The Misfits,” a get-the-gold-from-the-terrorists caper featuring a scrappy gang of ethnically diverse thieves in which fumes from the “Fast & Furious” and “Ocean’s” franchises are pungent, but hardly a substitute.
It’s a conscientious gang, this one. Nick Cannon’s Ringo targets deadbeat dads. Jamie Chung’s Violet goes after human traffickers. When Brosnan’s elegant swindler of the rich is begrudgingly roped in by a mysterious figure called the Prince (Rami Jaber), it’s to spearhead a job taking down a nefarious private prison mogul (Tim Roth) who launders terrorist money, and hates Brosnan to boot. Cue the warehouse confabs, hate/love camaraderie, conveniently available hardware, inexplicably successful disguises, porous fortresses, tourism shots, and twists you saw coming. Even Brosnan finally looks bored playing another prickly rogue. Roth, too, on the oily villain side of things.
Onetime mayhem kingpin Renny Harlin oversees the molding and pressing of this action-adventure widget like a man hoping to get another shot at a real Hollywood blockbuster — it’s fast-paced but also cloying as it hits its commercially prescribed genre marks. It so wants to be enjoyed, even as it’s helpless to do anything differently.
The best one can say about something as forgettable as “The Misfits” is that if your hunger for the long-awaited “F9” entrée needs addressing now, no one’s stopping you from a lukewarm appetizer while you wait.
Rated: R for some language/sexual references and brief drug use
Running time: 1 hour, 34 minutes
Playing: Starts June 11, AMC Citywalk, Universal City; Cinemark 18, Los Angeles; and in limited release
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