Characters are barely distinguished


Written by Richard Wenk and Luc Besson, this workmanlik […]

Written by Richard Wenk and Luc Besson, this workmanlike film has the no-frills efficiency of several other Besson productions, but it lacks the tongue-in-cheek humor of “Taken,” to say nothing of “Three Kings,” a non-Besson project to which the plot here — American soldiers search for looted gold — bears some resemblance.How do you extract 27 tons of gold from underwater in enemy territory?

Part of the thrill of heist movies is in watching a caper take shape before its execution. But the director, Steven Quale, rushes through the planning stages; there’s no obstacle that can’t be overcome with a quick line of exposition. The characters are barely distinguished. Matt (Sullivan Stapleton) is the team leader with the sad back story.

Ben (Joshua Henry) is the engineering wizard. And once they’re all in scuba gear, it hardly matters which is which.Even J.K. Simmons, as a commanding officer who reprimands the men while winking at their rebellious instincts, doesn’t look like he’s having fun.The Nazis, we see in a prologue, stole the gold in question from the French.

Now it’s 1995, in Bosnia, and the bounty is said to be locked in a vault at the bottom of a lake. Stanton (Charlie Bewley), a Navy SEAL, is tipped off to it by his girlfriend, Lara (Sylvia Hoeks), a local waitress who hopes to use the spoils to finance the rebuilding of her country.

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