Plot: Jack (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) has carved out a living for himself as a small time crook, but he needs to cash out big soon, so that he can settle down and get out of the criminal life. After all, he is tired of keeping his schemes and heists under wraps from his beloved, so he needs to make a change. So he and his partner in crime Logan (Jenna B. Kelly) make plans to go after one last score, a big enough grab to set up his transition, but of course, things don’t go as planned. Jack is approached by his former flame Karen (Claire Forlani), who needs to pull off a big heist herself, as she is on the run from notorious crime boss Eddie (Bruce Willis). She has the inside scoop on an armored truck caper, which leads to an uneasy partnership, but can Jack and Karen put the past aside so that this heist can set up their futures?
Entertainment Value: I mean, how can I resist a low rent action movie with Bruce Willis, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and Torrie Wilson? I have no regrets, but I do wish Precious Cargo was more fun and made better use of the colorful ensemble, as there is a good deal of interesting talent involved. The narrative is basic and predictable, but does what it needs to do, which more or less sums up the entire movie. I think the movie assumes that since Jack is a likable rogue, that makes the well worn formula seem new, but that just isn’t the case. Instead, this just comes off like a run of the mill crime thriller with some mild action sequences, never trying to push things beyond the typical cliches, so this is not a memorable experience. I think some wild twists could have worked wonders here, especially since most of the characters are shady, which means anyone could be capable of doing whatever it takes to prevail. Or at least pile on like fifty million double crosses, just any tricks to make the narrative more interesting than a typical, by the numbers action/thriller like this. Even the action can’t do much to save this, as the set pieces are minor and not that memorable. I’ve seen a lot worse in the genre, but Precious Cargo is still bland and predictable.
As I said before, my main reason for checking out Precious Cargo was the cast, which is an interesting collection of talent. I love the idea of Mark-Paul Gosselaar as the lead in an action b movie, but sadly, this one doesn’t put his natural charm to much use and wastes his potential. He still has a moment here and there, but I wish he was let loose with that Zack Morris charisma in this kind of b movie atmosphere. The slant toward charm and humor would suit the character well, though I suppose if the script is on the dull side like this, that’s kind of asking a lot. I think Gosselaar does well enough, he covers the basics and is a competent action hero when the role requires it, but I wish there was more craziness, especially between he and his costars. Bruce Willis is here, but he puts little to no effort into his performance, so if you wanted a wild showdown with he and Gosselaar, no such luck here. The cast also includes Claire Forlani, Torrie Wilson, Jenna B. Kelly, and Daniel Bernhardt.