We are now onto disc two of my three latest Reedus Season purchases. Today’s dvd of choice is Hero Wanted.
PLOT: Liam (Cuba Gooding Jnr) becomes a hero for 15minutes after saving a girl from a burning vehicle. Two years later Liam is in a bank when it is held up by Skinner (Kim Coates), Derek (Tommy Flanagan) and their getaway driver Swain (Norman Reedus) who, god love him, dreams of living on a beach. Liam survives the attack and starts to kill off the gang one by one starting by killing Skinner’s younger brother with a frying pan. Ray Liotta is apparently in this film too but he does so little he isn’t worth talking about. There is the realisation that all is not what it seems. Sad Swain montage in which he looks at a postcard of a beach. There are more flashbacks that an episode of Lost on crack. There is the realisation that no matter whose point of view you watch the film from everyone just loves Swain, who did I mention just wants to go to the beach. END PLOT
The plot of Hero Wanted is fine. The fact that it is told through a series of out of sequence flashbacks helps to stop the film from being run of the mill although it does end with a pretty standard shootout in an old abandoned warehouse.
If I were to pick a fault in the film-making it would be the annoying narration which ran throughout the film especially as it was so poorly written. We were treated to Liam philosophising through the medium of the mighty voiceover that “revenge is an airborne disease…..and it travels fast”. I can see why they did it as it aimed to give the film a sense of seriousness but in reality it turned out to be delusions of grandeur – sometimes if you are going to make a noisy shoot em up film it’s okay to do just that.
The characters themselves are a mixtures of generic bad guys, a hero with dead wife issues who comes up with a selfish plan to buy himself another 15mins (D-List celebrities should take note – it doesn’t work) and Swain who turns out to be the only likeable character in the entire film and this is not Reedus Bias.
The cast is lead by Gooding Jnr a actor which I enjoy an irrational hatred of. In Hero Wanted he looks old and rasps his way through proceedings appearing to be in dire need of a throat lozenge. He lacks the charm required to pull off any leading role.
The main villains are played by Kim Coates and Tommy Flanagan two of my favourite members of SAMCRO and in Hero Wanted. They are very good, enjoyable to watch and confirm that they both deserve much more screen time in the Sons of Anarchy.
Norman Reedus is good as Swain and givers the viewer someone to cheer for in a film with almost no likeable characters whatsoever.
I am surprised that I liked Hero Wanted as much as I did especially given that Gooding Jnr is an actor on my Shit List but I just about moved past this hatred so I could enjoy the film.
If a different actor was cast as Liam I think I would have enjoyed Hero Wanted a lot more. It gets a 6.5/10. It is a solid film and deserves its place on my list of go to 90mins films which is more of a compliment that it appears.