Known for his over-the-top action in films like The Long Kiss Goodnight and Deep Blue Sea, director Renny Harlin tells ABC Audio he was "like a kid in a candy store" setting his new heist film, The Misfits, in Abu Dhabi.
Now available on demand, the film has Pierce Brosnan playing a suave criminal mastermind who teams up with a gang of "Robin Hood-like" crooks to liberate a cache of gold from a Middle Eastern prison, lest it end up funding terrorism.
The film is sumptuously shot, and might make one want to book a flight to its glamorous Middle East setting -- or at least fantasize about having the dough to live large there.
"I wanted to make the place look ridiculous, that it's just dripping with money and luxurious lifestyle," Harlin explains. "So I created things like even in taxis are Lamborghinis, which they are not in real life."
He adds, "There's a scene in the hotel lobby where there's a woman walking with a cheetah [on a leash]. People don't walk around with cheetahs there. It was just in my head. I said, 'There has to be a beautiful woman with a cheetah. This movie has to feel over the top.'"
Joining Brosnan, and Tim Roth as the corrupt prison supervisor, is a diverse cast of Brosnan's bandits, including Nick Cannon, Jamie Chung, Thai pop star and actor Mike Angelo, and Rami Jaber, who was also an executive producer.
"Obviously, the center of the movie was Pierce Brosnan," Harlin says, "but then we discussed...we want to make the cast as kind of versatile as possible...trying to use people who would feel fresh and unexpected in these roles."