‘Marauders’ is a 2016 Heist/Thriller that follows a number of detectives trying to hunt down the people responsible for multiple bank heists, but as they dig deeper they find that there is more at play than just your average bank robbery. This movie tries to draw you in with an interesting premise and a relatively big name cast including Christopher Meloni, Bruce Willis, Dave Bautista, and Adrian Grenier… But when it comes down to the actual film, the execution is just terrible. The acting is ok at best from everyone, the action portions do get quite intense, and the plot starts off interesting, but it quickly devolves into one of the most overly convoluted series of events in the last few years.
The film starts off very very strong, it hooks you in with an exciting, terrifying, and dramatic action sequence that really sets the tone of the film, and 20 minutes in i was surprisingly very hooked into the action, the drama and the mystery. It was heading in an upwards direction and had they kept the film in that low complexity state this could have been a worthwhile experience. But instead it goes very very heavy on the bait and switch reveals, dumb twists, slowly revealing new info, and it turns into an incomprehensible film very fast. It ends up being a very overly convoluted story that actually doesn’t make much sense at all. Character motivations and reasonings are very unclear leaving you lost and confused, and some characters’ actual involvement in the story are not at all stated clearly enough. There is one character in particular who after seeing the film and thinking about it at length, i cannot seem to figure out what their role in the damn film even was. Good? Bad? Unintentionally Bad? I actually have no clue….. And neither did anyone else i asked.
The film also does this thing where it tries to give every single character some sort of emotional backstory to try and force you to understand them or sympathise with them. Some of these emotional connections they try to make are drawn out over the entire length of the film and some of them are very sudden and abrupt, in the middle of a damn investigation. Either way, the film spends a massive amount of time on these scenes and all they do is constantly bog down the film. It’s like they mashed scenes from ‘Bold and the Beautiful’ with this Heist/Thriller and it really doesn’t fit. The acting across the board is very sub-par, Christopher Meloni gave in the strongest performance but was held back by a not very engaging script. Bruce Willis was literally just cashing in a paycheque and his talents were completely wasted in this film. And Bautista… he is just not a very good dramatic actor at this point in time, he was just very wooden and felt like he was reading lines that were off screen in most scenes. But not everything here is bad.
The actual heist scenes were by far the best aspects of this film, they were fast paced, intense, exciting, and very chaotic making for some very cool sequences. And the fact that they were very brutal and chaotic meant that you didn’t know what was going to happen, and that uncertainty in each of those scenes managed to keep my attention, albeit for a short amount of time. There was also some very cool and quite stunning imagery during these scenes and especially in the opening that showed the film-makers did have some sort of unique style they wanted to implement into the film. But the fact that the story or plot doesn’t really lend itself to the big stylistic action sequences they wanted to make means the film was just being held down.
So in the end this film shows signs of being bigger and better and i believe it could have been if they had kept a more linear and straightforward plot. They tried too hard to surprise you and you instead get lost in all of the backstories, the exposition, the character motivations, the false accusations, to the point where you don’t quite know what happened when the film ends. I would have said this film works if you just shut your brain off and watch it for the action but then you will just be bored, so in terms of the heist/thriller genre, this is a last resort.