Precious Cargo movie full length review - Not bad for a VOD release
In the past few years, Bruce Willis has found himself in a series of direct-to-DVD action flicks that have come out of nowhere.
Some of these have been terrible, while others have been mildly watchable, but none of them have been necessarily deserving of Bruce Willis' talent. Precious Cargo, while certainly not a great film by any means, is definitely the best of Willis' recent crop of features, and certainly a whole lot better than its Rotten Tomatoes score would imply. It's neither a disaster or an undiscovered gem. It's simply a fun 90 minutes.
I suppose it was inevitable that I would enjoy Precious Cargo. As a fan of both Bruce Willis when he's in action movies and Mark-Paul Gosselarr in pretty much anything, I was probably bound to get some enjoyment out of the flick no matter what. It's entirely due to the two stars that Precious Cargo is the fun watch that it ends up being. To director/co-writer Max Adams credit, he doesn't have the two stars play their usual predictable roles. Bruce Willis is not playing a John Mcclane type, and Mark-Paul Gosselarr is not playing a Zack Morris type. Willis plays the bad guy here, and while he doesn't quite chew the scenery, his performance is not exactly subtle. He knows he's not acting in something that was going to win him an Oscar, so he isn't afraid to occasionally go a bit over the top. Really though, Willis is more of a supporting character. The real lead is Gosselaar, the hero of the story, and he successfully brings his two-dimensional character to life with natural charisma and charm.There's a lot of jokes/one liners in the film, ones that could have been downright groan-worthy, but Gosselaar sells them as legitimately funny. Other actors in the film aren't so lucky, and deliver some horribly bad dialogue that they look absolutely embarrassed to be uttering.
Precious Cargo obviously didn't have a huge budget and parts of it are quite cheesy, but that's a big part of its overall charm. The action scenes, despite not being particularly innovative, are well shot and edited in a much better fashion than 95% of the action pictures that are given a throwaway VOD release. The action scenes are the highlight of the film, and are generally cool to watch with limited CGI. However, other production values are not as strong. The cinematography is way too orange for my liking, though it's never quite distracting enough to ruin my enjoyment of the overall film. The music also could have been a lot stronger. The entire score feels like it supposed to be temporary for a test screening or rough cut but was never changed. At least the music itself is never terrible or completely overbearing.
Precious Cargo is no classic. It is nowhere near the top of the list of best Bruce Willis movies, or even the best of action movies released in the past six months, though it is still quite entertaining, despite some of its lesser production values and cringe-worthy moments of bad dialogue. It's a quick 90 minutes of fun action, a stupid plot, and a few intentional and unintentional laughs. If this were a wide theatrical release, I'd give this a 5, but as its one of the better VOD/direct-to-DVD releases I've seen recently, I'm giving it a 6 out 10. Recommended to action fans.