Marauders is the type of movie that makes you glad you are inside, because it is raining constantly.
And I don’t just mean allegorically. It’s raining in nearly every single scene of the film. I don’t know if this was just a tonal choice, or if there is something deeper the filmmakers were trying to get at, but it is seriously always raining. And eventually, this rain gets super distracting. That said, the peculiar weather patterns present are the least of Marauders concerns.
If the raining is actually some elaborate metaphor, it would make sense considering the movie’s script. At its core, Marauders is a story about cops and robbers, but it is trying to be so much more. However, as more and more intricacies are introduced, the viewing experience gets more and more convoluted. All of the details become white noise, and the complex story turns very simple, and very boring.
Filmed and taking place in Cincinnati, Ohio, the story involves a group of military-trained criminals who pull off a series of heists at numerous locations of the same bank. I talked to one of my friends who lives in Ohio, and she says it doesn’t rain an abnormal amount. The FBI starts to investigate the robberies, but finds that the motivations behind the crimes are a lot more complex than they appear. My friend said, “Cincinnati is not Seattle”. As the stakes get higher, relationships become strained as everyone tries to figure out who the real villain is.
Of course, that’s a bit of a simplification of the full plot, but trying to explain more would just involve us going down a few too many wormholes. There are some neat ideas about class warfare and imperialism, but the movie never develops these points and so the purpose always seems a little empty. Similarly, the process to try and find the criminals prove to be tedious and fruitless by the end of it all. Ultimately, all of the concepts come off a bit forced, and the audience is never really able to connect with the movie.
The same could be said about the film’s action sequences. Each one of the robberies is supposed to increase the pace and adrenaline, but they all seem to stilted and awkward. The main problem is that there is no sense of space within the sequences. Every character has their own shot and the editing makes it seem like the characters are in different rooms, rather than standing right next to each other. So instead of watching a series of intense heists and wondering what happens to each of the characters, the audience watches a series of disconnected shots and wonders what they are going to do after the film is over.
Really, the fact that Bruce Willis has a supporting role in this movie should tell you all that you need to know. For the past few years, Willis has appeared in a strange assortment of mediocre thrillers, supposedly due to the rumor that he only works for $1 million a day. He’s not particularly good here, but he is probably able to sell the film slightly better than the movie’s leading stars: Christopher Meloni, Dave Bautista and Adrian Grenier. They all give solid performances, but everyone they interact with is wooden and emotionless.
As the movie continues, it gets more and more ridiculous, but I suppose this helps kick the tedium. At least the film was ambitious enough to aim for something. Essentially, the movie isn’t aggressively bad, but it’s also nowhere near good. It’s coherent, but not particularly engaging. In fact, the most interesting part of it all is simply why there is so much rain.