HARD KILL (2020) Reviews of Bruce Willis action thriller

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‘Take on a madman. Save the world.’

Hard Kill is a 2020 American action thriller film about a billionaire tech CEO who hires mercenaries to protect his work and interests. Meanwhile, a terrorist group kidnaps his daughter…

Directed by Matt Eskandari (Survive the Night; Trauma Center; 12 Feet Deep; Game of Assassins; Victim) from a screenplay co-written by Joe Russo and Chris LaMont, based on a story co-written by Clayton Haugen and Nikolai From.

The Emmett/Furla production stars Jesse Metcalfe, Bruce Willis (Apex; Midnight in the Switchgrass; Out of Death; Cosmic SinBreachDie Hard franchise), Lala Kent and Natalie Eva Marie.

Reviews:

” …puts in next to no effort when it comes to creating even basic suspense or excitement. It’s a siege picture in a way, with the helmer in charge of making pennies spent on the production look like dimes. The production doesn’t have any fresh ideas or, at times, basic competency, staying weirdly small with a plot that welcomes a grander feel for B-movie escapism.” Blu-ray.com

“Ultimately, Hard Kill is far from a hard pass, though it could be a hard watch if you’re not checking this out to see Bruce or former WWE wrestler Natalie Eva Marie – who, amongst the many generic muscular bearded men, is the standout performer.” The Digital Fix

Hard Kill is depressingly bad. It’s Seagal bad. There is absolutely nothing here. And worst of all, it’s insanely boring, lethargically-paced with no sense of urgency to the proceedings, no suspense given the high stakes, and no effort on the part of the cast to convincingly sell any of it, with Rizzuto about as plausible a feared international terrorist as Vanderpump Rules’ Kent is as a scientific genius who invents a game-changing AI program. Willis’ mumbling sleepwalk of a performance is the least of Hard Kill‘s problems…” Good Efficient Butchery

Hard Kill is right about one thing. Destroying the world isn’t revolutionary activism, its nihilistic terrorism. This isn’t Willis’s best work, but he still has his action cred and dependable watchability. Alas, this could have been something bigger and better, if the villain had been more flamboyant. Recommended as a time-killer…” J.B. Spins

“Cheaply made with most of the action taking place in a large warehouse that hosts an endless series of low impact, poorly staged gunfights as well as a number of melodramatic scenes to balance out the action, Hard Kill should be an easy hard pass for you.  Even if you’re a fan of Willis I wouldn’t get too choked up about the actor and his selection of roles as of late, if you skip this one I’m sure you’ll have another similarly titled/themed one available in six months or so.” The MN Movie Man

“Easily one of the better films to come out of the Emmett/Furla stable, Hard Kill works, surprisingly, thanks to the films limitations – the singular location, the small cast and the simple plot; and also a compelling performance from actor Jesse Metcalfe, who gets a chance to follow-up on his action role in the second Escape Plan movie and really shine as a heroic leading man.” Nerdly

“The synopsis of this film makes it sound great, a high paced action film with a loose plot that will become more intense and detailed as you watch the film – but it doesn’t. What you have read in the synopsis is the entire film. I’d be surprised if the film had more than 30-minutes worth of dialogue. It’s mainly a gunfight in a warehouse, that’s it.” The People’s Movies

“Willis’ character is quite literally hidden away (in another room, altogether) from any (and all) action (save two gunshots, that exist solely to give the movie deceptive ‘trailer moments’ to satisfy its twenty producers!!) In true (switch-and-bait) DTV fashion,  the ageing, barely glimpsed A-lister still gets the final shot, that (on paper, at least) saves the day.” Straight-to-DVD Heaven [recommended read]

Hard Kill is an above-average indie action film. Sure, it has a villain who can be over the top at times, but it’s more than just a protection mission. It’s also about the relationships between our heroes and our target and his estranged daughter, which help drive the film. Of course, it also has some exciting action and twists within the story.” World Film Geek

Release:

Hard Kill was released On-Demand in various countries and is now available for streaming on Netflix in the UK.

Cast and characters:

Jesse Metcalfe … Derek Miller
Bruce Willis … Chalmers
Lala Kent … Eva Chalmers
Natalie Eva Marie … Sasha Zindel
Texas Battle … Nick Fox
Sergio Rizzuto … The Pardoner
Swen Temmel … Dash Hawkins
Jon Galanis … Harrison Zindel
Tyler Jon Olson … Lt. Colton
Leslee Emmett … Crystal
Nicholas Petron … Limo Driver
Abigail Esmena … Waitress (as Abigail Esmena Froehle)
Jacquie Nguyen … Gemma
Katie Groneman … Bartender
Adam Huel Potter … Drunk Patron (as Adam Potter)
Chris Petty … Pardoner Soldier 1
Timothy C. Sullivan … Rick (Pardoner Soldier 2) (as Tim Sullivan)
Alex Eckert … James (Pardoner Soldier 3)

Filming locations:

Chicago, Illinois
Norwood, Ohio (warehouse)

Technical details:

98 minutes

Our rating:

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