Precious Cargo Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Bruce Willis, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Claire Forlani
  • Director: Max Adams
  • Format: NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • Release Date: June 28, 2016
  • Run Time: 90 minutes

        First off, I must start by pointing out that despite his top billing and prominence on the poster/Blu-ray cover, this is yet another film which Bruce Willis has lent his name and reputation in hopes of fooling consumers into thinking he plays a larger role than he does. Willis is merely a supporting player, no doubt involved in the production for a quick paycheck. This is usually enough to assume that Precious Cargo is just another poorly made low budget action movie, and in many ways that is exactly what it is. The gunplay is entirely too reliant on CGI muzzle flashes, supporting cast are so stiff in their line delivery that one must assume that they are related to the filmmakers, and the screenplay feels lazily compiled from a handful of better action movies. What surprised me was how much I managed to enjoy much of the film even with its obvious shortcomings.

        Despite a lot of senseless gunplay, the storyline feels lifted from a number of heist movies, primarily The Italian Job. 1980s television icon Mark-Paul Gosselaar is the film’s actual lead as Jack, a professional thief and con artist who is manipulated into taking a job with his ex-girlfriend, Karen (Claire Forlani). Karen needs help escaping the wrath of a crime boss (Willis) she has wronged, and the former lovers are reunited in one last heist. Then they must perform another final heist when this powerful villain blackmails them. There are priceless jewels, an unbreakable safe, plenty of lies and double-crosses, and pointless chase scenes along the way. The entire endeavor is a bit too by-the-numbers to offer any original thrills, but it is a tried-and-true formula that provides extremely mild entertainment.

        Even with a lot of the cast coming off unbelievable in their handling of firearms and some obvious CGI additions in post-production, the action is fairly high in production values. The chase scenes utilize a variety of vehicles and locations, and many of the stunts are competent enough to be believable. The action, while far from perfect, stands up a whole lot better than many of the dialogue scenes. Gosselaar and Forlani are fairly believable, despite the stodgily written dialogue, while some of the less experienced actors suffer and Willis merely sleepwalks his way through the film. Even with a mere 90-minute run-time, there are a few too many scenes with bad acting for Precious Cargo to recover. These include a number of the filler scenes with forgettable supporting characters, but the worst of the bunch is newcomer Jenna B. Kelly, an actress far too young and beautiful to be cast as Jack’s sniper partner to begin with, no matter how many fake scars are added to her face. Her looks may have gotten her the job, but Kelly needs a few acting lessons if she hopes to continue a career once these assets have faded. Her monotonous delivery of the poorly written dialogue contributes the worst that the film has to offer.

        The Blu-ray release includes a digital HD copy of the film, along with a handful of generic extras. The special features include a making-of featurette, interviews with select cast and crew members, and trailers for the film.      

Entertainment Value: 5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 4/10
Historical Significance:  1/10
Special Features: 3/10

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