Mickey Rourke, Sam Riley, Ray Winstone, Jason Statham and even Micheal Shannon! And still, it didn’t help 13 becoming anything more but a Sunday afternoon crime movie that one can watch with one eye open.
13 had everything it seemed- starting from the strong script to remake and ending up with a pretty random, but really strong cast. It tells a story of a forgettable character, who assumes a dead man’s identity and discovers the underground world of violence, power and big money. Having his father’s medical bill to pay, he becomes number 13- an active participant in their own version of merciless Russian roulette.
It all sounds very intense, however, the potential script is very early completely ruined by the sloppy direction. Vince, for this is the naive man’s name, is completely bland. His only personality trait seems to be his occupation, which he doesn’t really seem to be that involved in. Although his life situation is quickly and stereotypically explained in the first ten minutes, to me, the medical bill of his father has never felt like a good enough reason to go through absolute hell. Of course, Breaking Bad offers somehow similar plot development, and yet, at the beginning the main hero doesn’t risk his own life, but rather his freedom. In 13 situation is put to the level of extreme that is simply unbelievable. And it doesn’t really help that Vince meets other ‘contestants’, who, like the character played by Rourke for example, would never make a choice of voluntarily taking part in the game. They were put there against their will and are gone as soon as they can.
Not only is the main character completely lacking personality, but also the story itself seems to be lacking any certain direction. So Vince takes part in the three part Russian roulette and suddenly there’s only half an hour of the movie left. So I guess…that’s really the main story. There’s no moral consequences, no psychological impact on this character, no further development…nothing. Of course the film continues, but without revealing too much I must say that it feels more like a draft of a script rather than a finished project.
13 promises a lot, but really doesn’t offer much. It is bland, forgettable and badly directed, and even the appearances of really good actors doesn’t help the story, which lacks complexity, passion and strong aim.