Wire Room tells the story of Justin Rosa (Kevin Dillon).
Once upon a time, Justin was a member of the Secret Service. But, for reasons that are never really made clear, Justin was eventually demoted and found himself working for Homeland Security. After 18 years, Justin has finally achieved his dream. He’s been assigned to a wire room, a high-tech command center where HSI agents conduct surveillance on high-profile criminals. On his first day, Justin shows up late. He gets yelled at by his superior, Shane Mueller (Bruce Willis). Justin explains that he couldn’t find anywhere to park. Shane is not impressed. Of course, Shane takes a taxi to and from work because Shane is a total alcoholic who likes to spend his free time at the local strip club.
After meeting Shane and Nour Holborow (Shelby Cobb), Justin is left in the wire room alone. His sole job is to keep an eye on a British arms dealer, Eddie Flynn (Oliver Trevena, who chews the scenery with relish). Shane is obsessed with taking down not only Eddie but also all of the corrupt cops that are on Eddie’s payroll. Eddie has no idea that his entire mansion is wired and that Homeland Security is watching him while he wanders around the house in his leopard-print robe. Eddie also doesn’t know that a bunch of assassins are coming to his house to try to kill him.
Realizing that Eddie is about to be killed, Justin tries to call Shane but Shane is too busy getting drunk to answer his phone. When Nour calls about an unrelated manner, Justin asks her for advice. She tells him to call Shane. He already tried that! Realizing that Homeland Security is full of drunks and incompetents, Justin decides to call Eddie himself. Soon, Justin and Eddie enter into an uneasy partnership. Justin tries to keep Eddie alive while Eddie tries to figure out how Justin knows what’s happening at his house. To me, it would seem like it shouldn’t be difficult for Eddie to figure out that Homeland Security has wired his house but no one in this movie is particularly smart.
Wire Room was one of the last movies that Bruce Willis made before announcing his retirement from acting. Willis doesn’t get much screen time and his dialogue consists mostly of profane insults. That said, it is nice to see Willis playing a good guy again and there’s even a few hints of the old Willis charisma to be found in his performance. If nothing else, he seems to enjoy the scenes in which Shane gives Justin a hard time. As for Justin, he really is a truly stupid character who makes so many obvious mistakes that it’s hard not to worry about the fact that he’s been entrusted with keeping the homeland safe. Fortunately, Kevin Dillon is an actor who can make stupidity likable. (There’s a reason why Johnny Drama was the only character on Entourage that anyone really cared about.)
Like the majority of Willis’s recent films, Wire Room is a low-budget action film. The special effects aren’t particularly special and the action scenes are fairly rudimentary. A huge problem with the film is that the viewer is never quite sure how close or how far anyone is from the titular location. For instance, we’re continually told that people are heading towards the wire room but it seems like it takes them forever to actually show up. At one point, we see a group of bad guys heading up to the wire room but, somehow, Justin and Shane still have time to scrounge up some weapons and have a fairly detailed conversation before any of them actually arrive. For all of the shooting and the yelling, Wire Room also never convinces us that there’s much at stake as far as the story is concerned. Shane, for instance, doesn’t seem to be particularly upset when Justin tells him about what is happening at Eddie’s house, despite the fact that Eddie’s death would destroy Shane’s investigation into police corruption. If Shane, the man in charge of the investigation, doesn’t care about what happens then why should we?
That said, there is some perhaps unintentional enjoyment to be found in Wire Room. Kevin Dillon plays Justin as being so dense and so slow-witted that the film almost becomes a parody of the recent spate of movies and television shows that have been released about hyper competent government agents. There are laughs to be found and Bruce Willis gets to be the good guy again. Wire Room is not a particularly memorable movie but it is a decent time waster.
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