Precious Cargo, a cheesy caper directed/co-written by Max Adams, is simultaneously occupying theatres and on Demand. It was also released a day after my birthday, which is fitting since it made me feel my age.
The two leading crooks are played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar (of Saved by the Bell fame) and Claire Forlani (Mallrats, Meet Joe Black, Mystery Men); two actors who were hot in the 90’s and now find themselves in a D-grade action film. That’s not to say these performers are has-beens. Both of their careers found life on television (Forlani with CSI: NY and NCIS: Los Angeles, Gosselaar on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Franklin & Bash). A reason why someone may go into Precious Cargo with a bad attitude is because they hoped these two actors wouldn’t wind up in schlock like this.
Truth be told, Precious Cargo isn’t that bad. It’s far from the cool flick Max Adams believes he’s made, but it passes the time and has a few entertaining set pieces. The only element that could turn a viewer sour is Bruce Willis’ role as a kingpin. Willis, with some of the laziest acting I’ve ever seen, barely lifts a muscle to show emotion and most of his scenes position him sitting down.
It’s important not to compare Precious Cargo with blockbusters but rather with synonymous straight-to-DVD fodder. There’s a core group of forgiving movie goers growing tired of Steven Seagal, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Dolph Lundgren. Precious Cargo, where Gosselaar calls the shots during high speed boat chases and heists, could very well be a breath of fresh air for that stay-at-home crowd.
That’s the thing though: Adams’ film is meant to stay at home. If you pay for admission to watch Precious Cargo in a theatre, you’ll feel let down. You’ll be wondering why the film is imitating the same humour and slickness as The Losers, a forgettable comic book flop that failed to turn a profit in theatres.
If you’re interested in Precious Cargo, rent it. Pop some popcorn, crack open some beers, call over some friends, have at it.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie