There once was a time the name Bruce Willis held weight as a headliner. That time has long since passed. Not because Willis can no longer act, but seemingly because he no longer has the care to put in the effort. Willis has been a straight-to-video mainstay for years and as a guy who grew up loving John McClane, I always fall for his face on the cover. I give these movies a shot hoping for something entertaining, and routinely I’m left sitting through a generic actioner with little to no inspiration.
The one bright spot in this film is the performance of Jamie King. She plays a photojournalist who wants to spread her father’s ashes in the woods. She mistakenly witnesses a cop killing a drug dealer and from there the generic action-thriller begins. King to her credit put in the effort to make this character endearing, simply from the energy she delivered. She had to have known the material was lackluster but regardless, she created an endearing character in a movie filled with nothing else remotely close to that. But there was only so much she could do in a story that goes through the motions of one borrow idea after another.
The villains were blatantly recycled, and the performances did them no favors. Many sequences are over-acted, others are under-acted, and overall, the characters were an uninspired mess. So, with no legitimate bad guys, and a buffet of genre tropes and cliché moments, the lack of creativity results in a bit of a mindless watch that fuels minimal intrigue outside of King doing her best to carry things.
As for Willis, what can you say? He once again gives little effort, he’s basically playing a version of himself, and every other character he has played in the last decade. He’s serviceable, but that’s about it. In a film like this the leads can often elevate the material. Take the last ten Liam Neeson movies. There was the potential for that here, but Willis didn’t accomplish that and Jamie King, despite her strong performance didn’t get the screen-time to do so on her own.
Out Of Death will be available on Digital Download from 2nd August (pre-order here) & DVD from 4th October
Anthony J. Digioia II - SilverScreen Analysis © All Rights Reserved.