Setup – more like ‘Let down’

13 Nov

At the weekend I was posessed to watch ‘Setup‘.  It was in my ‘Friends recently viewed’ list on Netflix.  It has Ryan Phillippe (whom I had an A0-sized poster of when I was in high school).  It has Bruce Willis (he of the awesomeness).  It has…umm….50Cent.  In fact, the main character is 50Cent playing a guy called Sonny.  This is just one of the many issues with this film (which went straight to DVD/Blu-ray – for good reason!).

Setup tells the tale of a heist gone bad.  That’s pretty much it.  50Cent is double-crossed by Vince – his friend from school during the heist and left for dead.  Vince has selfless reasons for doing it but he still acts like a complete douche in the process.  Yawn.  Of course, there are various other dangerous folk looking for the diamonds too (hitmen, mob bosses, blehhhhhhhhhhhh…) and all the associated problems therein. Yadda yadda.

Ryan Phillippe is ok as Vince. ‘Fiddy’ has the on-screen personality of a block of concrete.  The scenes where he’s attempting some kind of meaningful voiceover are laughable. Good on him for trying but I’ve seen more latent acting ability from a tub of Philadelphia cream cheese.

*View of the city with hip-hop music in the background*  Mutter mutter mutter.  Mutter mutter.

Bruce Willis plays the mob boss.  He does a reasonable job but he’s not very convincing as a bad guy.  However, I think it’s more down to the writers than anything else.  His character is really inconsistent – sometimes he’s nice other times he’s the run-of-the-mill ‘mob boss’ – but this inconsistency isn’t even successful in a jarring, ‘you never know where you stand’ way.  It just  comes off as a bit weird.


The main female character (Mia) is a downright terrible actress – she can’t seem to pull off any emotions whatsoever. When you’re sharing a screen with walking concrete and appearing to have less acting ability then it might be time to consider a new career. Thankfully, a nice hitman comes along and beats her up – so there’s at least the saving grace that we don’t need to put up with her for the entire movie.  He seems to like throwing her through glass objects which is quite amusing – given she conveniently seems to have a lot of them.  They have a nice little chat while she has bits of glass sticking out the side of her face.  Then there’s a lovely scene where she’s dead.  I’ll admit she can act dead – I’ll give her that.  I mean, it’s not award-winning ‘dead’ or anything but at least she doesn’t look asleep.

It’s all shot with a blue filter because well, blue is depressing and ‘street’, innit?  I’m not sure what the director was going for but the little jerky zoom in when characters say something that’s apparently key to the plot is really irritating and amaturish. It’s like watching a dodgy soap opera.

It attempts a meaningful ending too.  I’m not entirely sure what kind of audience they thought they would pull with this cast-list, but meaningful messages were not what I signed up for.  I expected giant guns, explosions, helicopters on fire, gangs, bazookas, 50Cent rapping, people wearing giant baggy trousers, Bruce Willis in a vest, motorbikes, Bruce Willis in a slightly dirtier vest, pointless violence, sex, and maybe a rottweiler with a bow!  There shouldn’t even be a sniff of meaning in this film, dammit!


Overall, it’s barely watchable crap.  It’s not funny, meaningful, or dramatic.  It’s also not bad enough to be amusing.  I didn’t care about any of the characters – although I did feel sorry for the teddy bear who got knifed.  Speaking of which, the most impressive part of it was actually a very realistic knifing scene (I don’t mean the bear here).  Don’t waste your time on this – even Bruce Willis couldn’t save this one.

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