Finally: a new standardized test to replace the SAT, Learning Results and Leave No Child Behind. And it’s CHEAP!

Here’s all you have to do. Rent “Marauders” and show it to a roomful of high school juniors. Any kid who can explain the plot gets a full ride to Harvard.

It’s not that the plot is intricate — it’s incomprehensible. What you get are 14 mini soap operas stuffed inside and around a gory heist movie whose detestable violence would desensitize the Dalai Lama.marauders-2016

The competing soap operas include 1) the tough FBI agent (Christopher Meloni) who, after hours, buys a glass of red wine that he does not drink and stares at a portrait of his late wife while pointing his pistol at his face; 2) the hard-bitten Cincinnati cop (Johnathan Schaech) who’s all muscles and profanity until he gets home, whereupon he dotes tearfully on his dying, hooked-to-an-IV wife; 3) the Kevlar-clad robber who holds a bullet between his finger and thumb as he cuts some poor guy’s throat and 4) the moody banker (Bruce Willis) who sleepwalks through each and every scene except the one where he smashes the glass table in his office with a baseball bat.

Where’d the banker get the bat?

That said, “Marauders” gets off to a good start with a stopwatch-synchronized bank heist coordinated to within an inch of its life. But that’s the only life that has any value in this movie. The robbers alternate between technological gee whiz and hateful bloody murder. We’re supposed to be intrigued by the masked men but we’re mostly mystified and frequently horrified.

And Bruce Willis hasn’t worked up a sweat since “The Sixth Sense,” and that was in 1999. In his last dozen movies he’s there but he’s not there … more like a holographic image beamed in so that he can appear in four bad movies at the same time.

Anyway, “Marauders” is a big waste of time if only a modest waste of money ($1.58 at Redbox).

Stephen Fay

Stephen Fay

Managing Editor at The Ellsworth American
Stephen Fay, managing editor of The Ellsworth American since 1996, is a third-generation Californian. Starting out as a news reporter in 1974, he has been an editor since 1976, working in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont before settling in Ellsworth with his wife and two daughters. [email protected]
Stephen Fay

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