The Misfits, 2021.
Directed by Renny Harlin.
Starring Pierce Brosnan, Jamie Chung, Tim Roth, Hermione Corfield, Nick Cannon, Mike Angelo and Rami Jaber.
Richard Pace (Pierce Brosnan) is hired by an unusual collective to pull off one final job. Far flung locations, a fractious family dynamic and some nefarious opposition stand in his way. A fact that provides an edge in this fast paced action thriller.
With The Misfits, director Renny Harlin proves he is still able to turn in a polished action adventure without breaking sweat. Taking the heist genre, throwing in an informative yet charismatic voice over and spoiling audiences with exotic locations works wonders. Pierce Brosnan is on fine form as master thief Richard Pace, while Tim Roth makes an instant impression as the vaguely villainous Shultz. Other cast members which leave an impression include Nick Cannon’s Ringo and Jamie Chung’s Violet.
Car chases, sharp dialogue and a suitably complex build up all combine into a slick piece of entertainment. Plot details are inconsequential, as The Misfits deals in archetypes rather than nuance. Pierce Brosnan is tapping into his greatest hits, with a little James Bond and a lot of Thomas Crown. Dapper, dynamic and every inch the screen icon of old, Richard Pace is a perfect fit for an actor who remains savagely underrated.
Although these characters are introduced with economy and the heist elements are well executed, The Misfits lacks originality. Privatised prisons, corporate espionage and fractured father daughter relationships have all been seen before. There is no escaping the influence of the Ocean’s franchise, either in construction or denouncement. A mismatched group of exceptional individuals pulled together for one job is an established genre trope. Con Air did it, The Losers did it and to some extent 0ne Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest achieved something similar. Granted that final example may only stretch to the cohesive influence of one man to influence others, but it’s still worth mentioning.
That aside, there is no disguising the fun being had on screen. Everyone seems to having a blast extolling the virtues of Middle Eastern locations, whilst swathed in Bedouin robes. Panoramic vistas of sand, underground vaults and a strong chemistry between all concerned carries the day. Mike Angelo and Rami Jaber as explosives expert and ideas man also work well, even if they seem more suited to a Michael Bay production. Thankfully that is where the comparisons with him end, as Renny Harlin is more interested in story than appeasing target audiences through objectification.
Hermione Corfield’s estranged daughter Hope might play second fiddle to Pierce Brosnan, but finds time to establish herself nonetheless. As does Jamie Chung’s Violet, who is allowed a modicum of femininity, even if she is defined by her talent for dispatching assailants. Each gets their moment in the sun and garners adequate screen time. However, for a solid cast with a decent script audiences should probably expect better.
Plot points, character beats and action set pieces are all present and correct but something is missing. The direction is solid, the performances spirited and yet The Misfits never feels distinctive. At best, this left field heist thriller is enjoyably forgettable.
The Misfits will be in theatres from June 11th and on VOD from June 15th.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★