Hard Kill

  • 12 Sep - 18 Sep, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

You'd think that by now Bruce Willis would be tired of saving the world. But that’s not the case; Willis is back with another action movie, Hard Kill. Willis plays Donovan Chalmers (at least his character's name has some flair), a mysterious billionaire who seeks out ex-Special Forces operative turned mercenary Derek Miller (Jesse Metcalfe) for protection while visiting an abandoned factory. Miller assembles his team, including Sasha (Natalie Eva Marie), Harrison (Jon Galanis) and Dash (Swen Temmel), assuring them of a generous payday for an assignment he promises will be "strictly VIP protection."

Needless to say, that turns out not to be the case, as Miller and his group are soon ambushed by a well-armed gang led by an international terrorist dubbed "The Pardoner" (Sergio Rizzutto, letting his beard do the menacing for him). It turns out that the quixotically named criminal, with whom Miller has a past, has kidnapped Chalmers' daughter Eva (Lala Kent). She's apparently developed an artificial intelligence computer programme that, depending how it's used, could either make the world a dramatically better place or destroy it. The Pardoner naturally intends the latter, explaining that he's fighting for "a new world order." The invention, referred to as "Project 725," might as well be dubbed "The MacGuffin."

Cue the tiresome action movie gun battles and other violent mayhem, staged unimaginatively by director Eskandari despite how much practice he gets. It's occasionally punctuated by such lame dialogue scenes as Chalmers and Eva engaging in a heartfelt father-daughter chat or The Pardoner taking the time to explain the reason for his unusual moniker. The Pardoner, by comparison, is such a one-note villain that his chief distinguishing characteristic is his manipulations of a Rubik's Cube – although that's somewhat more arresting than Willis' character-defining wearing of a heavy woolen scarf. Clearly, screenwriters Joe Russo and Chris LaMont didn't feel a need for any heavy lifting.

Although Metcalfe certainly boasts the appropriate physicality for his role, he's unable to summon sufficient charisma to make his character remotely interesting. The supporting performances are equally lackluster, although former wrestling star Marie makes for a convincing female badass. Chalmers' right-hand man is played by actor Texas Battle, who deserves stardom if only for his name that would look great on a theater marquee.

– Compilation