The Misfits, 2021.
Directed by Renny Harlin.
Starring Pierce Brosnan, Jamie Chung, Nick Cannon, Hermione Corfield, Rockmond Dunbar, Rami Jaber, Mike Angelo, and Tim Roth.
After being recruited by a group of unconventional thieves, renowned criminal Richard Pace finds himself caught up in an elaborate gold heist that promises to have far-reaching implications on his life and the lives of countless others.
Director Renny Harlin (no stranger to the action genre having helmed gems like Die Hard 2) knows The Misfits is a bad action movie and breaks the fourth wall acknowledging so during the climax. I’m not sure what else someone would need to know to realize that this is a steaming pile of junk, but here goes nothing.
The first five or so minutes are mildly promising as Ringo (yes, the character played by Nick Cannon here is named after the Beatles, and the movie takes countless opportunities to remind viewers) narrates a walkthrough of his thieving techniques. The method doesn’t involve directly stealing from an individual or their home, but rather their security lockboxes as legal loopholes drastically reduce the risk.
Now, I highly doubt this is the case in reality, but it’s easy to roll with since the movie introduces a cast of characters that use their various criminal abilities for good (Ringo only steals from the scum of society). The other members of the titular misfits involve martial artist Violet (Jamie Chung), demolitions expert Wick (Mike Angelo), and an identity-thieving Prince (Rami Jaber).
Don’t get too attached because bafflingly, The Misfits is not about them. It’s the story of career criminal Pace (a character who does not steal for the greater good and played by Pierce Brosnan) escaping a high-security prison before an attempted execution at the hands of Schultz (Tim Roth). The misfits make contact during the getaway and help out, so they have leverage over Pace, enlisting him to assist with a gold heist from terrorists. Initially uninterested in doing something to help refugees (somehow stealing gold accomplishes that), it’s only when he reconnects with his estranged daughter Hope (Hermione Corfield, a terrific rising actress that should be nowhere near this travesty of a movie) in Abu Dhabi, who is secretly a part of the misfits, where he decides to join the team.
It cannot be stressed enough that The Misfits is a terrible movie with a script (written by Robert Henny and Kurt Wimmer) that seemingly started as one thing before becoming something else entirely, presumably when Pierce Brosnan signed on to sleepwalk his way through his role. And yes, there is no kind way to say this, but the acting is outstandingly bad from nearly everyone involved. Jamie Chung and Hermione Corfield seem to be the only ones trying here, but there’s nothing for anyone to do.
The planning of the heist of self doesn’t even begin until nearly 40 minutes in, meaning we spend time getting to know nothing characters that are defined by one trait and given embarrassing jokes masquerading as comedy. For example, Ringo’s thievery skills involve being a master of disguise, given some material to work with that frequently comes with awkward language barrier humor. The editing is also atrocious, such as back-to-back bonding scenes with Pace and Hope. It’s as if the actual misfits don’t even matter, which is maddening considering the opening and title of the film.
Not even a spurt of action towards the end can spark some life into this one. It’s often messy and unclear what the characters want to do with the gold (an issue not helped by the audio and video consistently slipping in and out of sync after fixing it every 10 minutes), and the heist itself has no urgency or stakes. The only complement there is to give The Misfits is that at least those involved seem to know it’s atrocious. Unfortunately, the movie is so bad it’s terrible, not cheaply made entertainingly.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★
Robert Kojder is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Critics Choice Association. He is also the Flickering Myth Reviews Editor. Check here for new reviews, follow my Twitter or Letterboxd, or email me at MetalGearSolid719@gmail.com