Featuring James Bond fame, Pierce Brosnan, ‘The Misfits’ is an over-the-top action-comedy film of 2021 helmed by Renny Harlin and authored by Kurt Wimmer and Robert Henry. The protagonists of ‘The Misfits’ are a band of modern-day Robin Hood–esque robbers with varying sets of talents and experiences. The movie follows them as they pull various shenanigans and robberies to redistribute riches to the poor.
The plot develops as they scheme and carry out a robbery against a corrupt and well-guarded Abu Dhabi prison. As the robbery progresses, the group’s relationships are put to the test, and they must deal with betrayals and diversions in order to succeed. Given the film’s exploration of themes like tyranny, vigilantism, and more, one might wonder if ‘The Misfits’ is based on real events. Here are the facts.
Is The Misfits a True Story?
No, ‘The Misfits’ is not based on a true story. The movie hails from the creative mind of Renny Harlin, a Finnish Filmmaker known for his extensive portfolio of highly successful movies like ‘Die Hard,’ ‘Cliffhanger,’ ‘The Long Kiss Goodnight,’ ‘Cuthroat Island,’ ‘The Covenant,’ ‘The Legend of Hercules,’ and more. ‘The Misfits’ delves deeply into the subject of anti-establishment rebellion, social justice, and vigilantism. The narrative centers around the notion of everyday people seizing the mantle of justice to confront pervasive corruption and unbridled avarice. These outlaws challenge a system that is weighed down by oppression.
Even though ‘The Misfits’ is set in the present day, many see it as a throwback to Harlin’s previous works. When questioned about the same in an interview, Harlin stated- “That was exactly what I was trying to do. No CG effects, and it is done with real people and real stunts. I miss those movies, myself. All the big movies nowadays have so much digital work in them. Even digital doubles, digital people created to do some of the stunts. The audience can feel it. It’s not a matter of being involved in the same way. Now, it’s who can do the most insane things digitally. Instead of, you know, real stunts and real people risking their lives doing these real things. I miss those days.”
Mike Angelo, the Thai-Chinese actor playing the role of Wick, also opened up on his role and shared his take on how he approached his character. Mike stated that his character, Wick, wasn’t originally supposed to be a comic relief, but after doing some research and reading the script while sitting in his hotel room, Angelo weighed options to render his character different from those of his fellow cast members.
Angelo further stated that Renny, the director, was consistently receptive to suggestions, prompting him to frequently propose various ideas. One particular scene toward the conclusion of the movie caught his attention—a sequence where the characters were walking in slow motion, and he was the only person who stumbled. Angelo quickly regained his footing, nonchalantly shrugging off the mishap, while the rest maintained stoic expressions.
Even though the movie was a commercial success, its release was marred by multiple controversies. Produced by Mansoor Al Dhaheri, the film is shot in multiple locations, including Las Angeles, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai. AlDhaheri’s vision for this project was to put Abu Dhabi on the international entertainment stage. When asked about the same in an interview, AlDhaheri stated- “We are proud to say that FilmGate has produced, filmed, and financed a Hollywood movie from start to finish right in the heart of our Capital and partnered with industry leaders such as Paramount Pictures and Highland Film Group to bring it to audiences everywhere. None of this would have been possible without the support extended to us by the UAE and its wise leadership.”
While the film was well-received in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), some important news organizations and reporters in other countries criticized the UAE for spending millions of dollars to purportedly offend Qatar, the government, people, and Muslim religious figures, including the chief of Sheikh al-Qaradawi, an International Union of Muslim Scholars. While Abu Dhabi’s mercenaries are portrayed as heroes, the filmmaker mocks Qatar by calling it “Jazeeristan” and accusing its residents of aiding terrorist organizations.
One of Egypt’s most well-known journalists and authors, Mohamed Nasser, expressed his disappointment with the film through social media. According to Mohamed Nasser, the film is an overt effort to taint Qatar with the label of a “terrorist-supporting nation.” Dr. Muhammad Al-Kubaisi, one of the most prominent Islamic scholars, also criticized the movie in a slew of tweets as well. Dr. Muhammad Al-Kubaisi stated- “God, do not bless the Emirati leadership. They are using Hollywood and producing a movie called The Misfits, which cost them more than 50 million dollars, to damage Qatar’s reputation and accuse its peaceful society of terrorism.”
So, In a nutshell, ‘The Misfits’ is not rooted in reality. However, the film’s themes of social justice, vigilantism, as well as anti-establishment resistance may provide that impression. It explores the concept of citizens using vigilante justice to resist tyranny and avarice, which has been the basis for several films.
Read More: Where Was The Misfits Filmed?