Marauders sets out to give us a visceral and exciting take on the bank robbery genre, while subtly throwing in a variety of political intrigue and plot twists into the mix. Giving you the recipe for a movie that aims to blow you away and keep you guessing throughout, but unfortunately ends up looking like pretty much every other bank robbery film of the past decade.
Marauders follows the story of Agent Montgomery (Christopher Meloni) who is pursuing some crafty and well-orchestrated masked bank robbers. These are not your ordinary bank robbers, as they use high-tech gadgets, military precision, leave no trace and seemingly have an ulterior agenda outside of just trying to get rich quickly. Things aren’t as they seem as along with his team of detectives they uncover a bigger political plot behind the bank manager (Bruce Willis), the military, some dubious politicians and a lot of dodgy police officers that seem to just get in the way.
The film starts out with a rather brutal opening sequence that sets a high tone for the rest of the film, though unfortunately – despite some strong moments – never quite reclaims the high that its opening can achieve. And that’s not to say that they aren’t trying as the script, written by Michael Cody and Chris Siverston, contains enough mysteries and plot twists to keep things interesting and tight. And while some of the twists are fairly predictable, there is enough to keep you interested through the films running time.
The movies biggest fault is that it perhaps wears its influences on its sleeve. It’s built around a lot of ideas that have been done before and instead of trying to do something unique with them it pretty much mimics the best parts of these films, leaving it feeling wholly unoriginal. Director Steven C. Miller does try to offer some unique shots and moments in the film, but in the end you’re left feeling that you’ve seen it all before.
And while the script is designed around a lot of surprises, set-ups and twists, it also has some low points like poor dialogue or the shoddy conflict that it tries to build between the FBI and police force, which is cliched and unfortunately poorly done here. The script does a good job in setting up a lot of character depth pretty quickly, but is let down as the story unravels. The bank robbers which you gain instant respect for in the films powerful opening, start to become clumsier as the film progress without any apparent reason or tension behind some of their unnecessary actions.
The film is also let down by some inconsistent acting. While Meloni is trying his best, he is let down by a script which doesn’t really explore his backstory as well as it should and he feels strangely under-utilized, considering he is the lead in the film. Adrian Grenier almost appears bored through most of the movie while the likes of Dave Bautista are trying to overact a little too much. Willis is smooth and cool as always, but doesn’t get enough of the script to work with here. Jonathon Schaech perhaps has the most interesting character to work with, but then fails to deliver the strong emotional performance his character deserves.
It’s not that the movie is not entertaining and it certainly has its moments. It’s just that there is nothing exceptional about it as well. Its many set pieces are executed well and if you are an action fan who likes to solve the mysteries before they are revealed on screen, there is enough here to keep you busy.
In the end, Marauders is let down by trying to do what other movies have already done, often better. It’ll keep you entertained for its running length, but is easily forgettable once its finished. In the end, just like the antagonists run out of steam as the story progresses, so this films starts to lose its magic the longer it goes on.
Marauders is out now on DVD.
Last Updated: November 23, 2016