Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs
Marauders (2016): 7 out of 10: A collection of bank robberies in Cincinnati may be connected to a war crime from many years ago as both the FBI and local Cincinnati PD try to find the perpetrators before they strike again.
The Good: This is actually a decent film when all is said and done. For a direct to video feature, it is outstanding.
There are two stand-outs in the film. The first is the action scenes, particularly the bank robberies. They are excellently designed and filmed with a proper amount of tension and just enough style to seem new and fresh.
The second stand out is the acting. Bruce Willis isn’t in the film all that much, but he does more than cash a paycheck (this time). Dave Bautista also appears in a few scenes, and he is quickly becoming one of those actors that elevates everything he is in. As for the three actors who carry the film; Christopher Meloni, Adrian Grenier, and Johnathon Schaech are all excellent.
Now Meloni could do his role in his sleep, but this is the first role where Grenier doesn’t make me want to slap him and Schaech finds a Vic Mackey gravity to his role that wasn’t in the script.
The Bad: Everyone’s wife is dying or dead, everyone has a secret history with everyone else, nobody asks for a lawyer and there are about twice as many characters and three times as many plot points that a film of this genre and running time can handle.
There are some amateurish screenplay moments. Bruce Willis is the apparent private owner of a bank with 3000 branches? A cop would have an easier time getting an interview with Howard Hughes. There is no way Willis is alone for a shakedown interview in his office with no lawyers present.
Even worse, we have a street reporter starting her news report with “sources tell me that “the bad guy” murdered all these people and stole all this money’ without any arrests being made or really any prompting except we needed the bad guy to make a run for it. So now we have the I-Team’s Susie cut short her interview with the owner of the world’s shortest llama and start flinging plot points at the screen without a single alleged uttered.
The Ugly: I understand that having it rain in every scene is a stylistic choice. But you are clearly aiming a hose at an awning in some of those scenes.
In Conclusion: The filmmakers should have fridged both the dead and dying wives, then spent some face time with the actual bank robbers. They also could have made the connections between characters a bit clearer for those of us who are either slow or can’t see through all this rain, and they would have had a top-notch film. As for now, we have a confusing overstuffed film with some great set-pieces and surprisingly good performances.
Despite the endless rain as the screenshots below show, Marauders is a very well shot film. I love the Army of Two facemasks on the bank robbers. It is an excellent look. The entire film seems more like a big budget Hollywood release than a Direct to video offering,
The city of Cincinnati BTW has never looked better with some serious scenery porn on tap. A good film with the caveats explained above and undeniably a pretty film. Well worth the watch.