Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr wreaks his own brand of justice in Hero Wanted, a brutal action-suspense thriller co-starring Ray Liotta. Once the toast of the city, Liam Case (Gooding, Jr.) is now a forgotten man, a hero whose fame has passed him by. Hoping to restore his former glory, he attempts to foil an armed bank robbery, but winds up shot instead. Recovering from his wounds, Liam swears vengeance and begins a hunt of his own, leading to a shocking climax that proves the old adage: heroes are made, not born.
Revenge thriller with a difference
- Hero Wanted review by Alphaville
This revenge actioner begins brilliantly and becomes increasingly engrossing as it progresses. Cuba Gooding is the accidental hero who saves a child from a car accident before falling foul of a bunch of bank robbers. His nicely understated performance is a welcome antidote to the usual macho character out for revenge. The elliptical post-Pulp-Fiction plot constantly surprises and the climactic confrontation with Derek the nasty Scotsman and his gang is both exciting and poignant.
Director Brian Smrz made his name as a stunt director and this 2008 film is his first as director. His second – 24 Hours to Live – is even better and well worth checking out. He’s a director in total command of his medium. See if you can work out how the masterful opening tracking shot was done. He does a fine line in ambivalent baddies and creates characters that have real emotional depth. Hero Wanted is as much about loss and grief as about revenge. Smrz is one of the few action directors with heart. He’s worth catching. The DVD has a fascinating feature commentary by him, Gooding and one of the writers.