Wild Card **Dir: Simon West. With: Jason Statham, Michael Angarano, Dominik Garcia-Lorido, Hope Davis. 92 mins. Cert: 15
This should have confirmed Jason Statham’s upward career mobility: it’s fabled screenwriter William Goldman’s second big-screen pass at his own novel Heat, which sees The Stath, assuming a sometime Burt Reynolds role as a Vegas gambler who falls foul of the Mob, trading lines (if not blows) with a half-dozen or so legit performers. It emerges, alas, as a compromise, hedging its bets between cheery, characterful Ocean’s-ish caper and brute-force beat-‘em-up; we’re offered traces of both, and yet not enough of either to satisfy. Notable faces (Sofia Vergara, Jason Alexander, Anne Heche) vanish without trace, and Our Jase struggles with Goldman’s distinctly American, hard-boiled dialogue. Pity.
Wild Card is now playing in cinemas nationwide.