Cheesy title aside, Simon West's adaptation of William Goldman's 1985 novel, Heat, is not the dull, generic action flick its trailer suggests – well, at least for most of it. In fact, it's better described as a thriller with elements of action; relying less on Statham's bone-crunching brawls, Wild Card is a well-intended, although sometimes clumsy, delivers in parts and uses its lead man's steely-cool persona and charming, yet lethal, intensity, well.

Adapted to the screen by the Oscar-winning screenwriter himself, the film is set on the bright streets of Vegas and is centred on bodyguard-for-hire, Nick Wild (Statham). Battling a gambling addiction, Nick – who prefers to be referred to as 'chaperone' – works odd jobs, all the while dreaming of one day having enough money to retire on a sailboat in Corsica.

One night, Nick is approached by an old-friend in trouble, Holly (Garcia-Lorido), who wants to take revenge on local gangster, Danny DeMarco (Ventimiglia), after being brutally raped and beaten by him.

Essentially serving as a remake of Burt Reynolds 1986 box office dud, Heat, Wild Card is not a typical Statham action barnstormer. There's a subtlety – if lack of creativity – in its presentation of the protagonist; a loner whose mysterious past, addiction and life ambitions are weighed-down by the criminal system he lives in. There is a decent attempt in character exploration and although the fight sequences – three in total – might not be enough to satisfy the actor's hard-core fans, they're executed with enough punch, so to speak.

Despite the film dragging a little during dialogue-heavy scenes – and there's many of them – Statham shows an uncharacteristic and surprising sense of sarcasm and chattiness, delivering one of his best turns since his first two major film roles in Guy Ritchie's 1998 British cult classic, Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, and the more 2000's mainstream –successful Snatch.

Though far from a top action film and largely predictable, Wild Card is still a satisfying watch that offers solid entertainment while asking for too much in return.