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Precious Cargo


Stars: Bruce Willis, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Claire Forlani, John Brotherton, Daniel Bernhardt, Lydia Hull, Jenna Kelly

Director: Max Adams

Sometimes films inadvertently review themselves.

Here, in a substandard thriller that could well use some improvement (and the crucial deletion of its tsunami of Channel 4-letter words) to qualify as an average made-for-TV movie, the first word, “Sh*t!” is as good a review as Precious Cargo deserves.

Its major point of interest is trying to figure out what could have attracted Bruce Willis to the movie in the first place and, stranger still, why he would accept second billing to hard-arse hero Mark-Paul Gosselaar.

But, as the cliché goes, “That’s Show Business!”

Director (and co-writer with Paul V. Seetachitt) Max Adams sensibly settles for action whenever possible rather than concentrate on the storyline which sees Gosselaar being lured into stealing a cargo of valuable gems by his pregnant former lover Claire Forlani who, having double-crossed her former lover, murderous crime boss Willis, triggers murder and mounting mayhem where action ad lib – rather than holding dialogue or credible characterisation – is the keynote.

Performances are firmly by-the-book, Gosselaar playing a thug with unexpected ideals, Forlani and Lydia Hull providing the required glamour while Willis baldly goes where no action star should bother to go and with rather more dramatic impact than either his role or the film deserve.

It’s the kind of action movie best seen with your intellect in neutral (or, better still, switched off completely) so that you can savour the adrenaline boost provided by the plentiful, well-enough staged action sequences which include a brisk water chase, any number of expended bullets and slugfests in place of anything innovative in the narrative.

Mississippi, which stands in for the Cayman Islands, gives the most convincing performance while, bizarrely, the score for the the sub-Spillane, made-in-the USA movie was recorded in Maidstone, Kent.

Alan Frank

Canada 2016. UK Distributor: Signature Entertainment. Colour.
90 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 2, Swearing 2.

Review date: 16 Jul 2016