SURVIVE THE GAME aka KILLING FIELD (2021) Reviews of Bruce Willis crime thriller

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Survive the Game is a 2021 American crime thriller about three cops engaged in a pitched battle against a gang of drug dealers. Also known as Killing Field

Directed by James Cullen Bressack (Beyond the Law; Blood Craft; BethanyPerniciousBlood Lake)  from a screenplay written by Ross Peacock. Co-produced by Alex Eckert, Randall Emmett, George Furla, Tyler Jon Olson, Luillo Ruiz, Mark Stewart and Chad A. Verdi.

The movie stars Bruce Willis (Midnight in the SwitchgrassOut of DeathHard KillCosmic SinBreachDie Hard franchise), Chad Michael Murray, Sarah Roemer, Donna D’Errico, Zack Ward, Sean Kanan and Kate Katzman.

When cop David (Bruce Willis) is injured in a drug bust gone wrong, his partner, Cal, pursues the two criminals who shot him to a remote farm owned by troubled vet Eric (Chad Michael Murray). As Cal and Eric plot their defence, more of the gang arrives — along with a wounded David — and, outnumbered, the three heroes must use stealth, smarts, and marksmanship to take down the drug-dealing mob…

“Performances are largely forgettable, save for Ward, who works extra hard to be the life of the party […] Willis remains in zombie mode, mostly staying seated as he barely works up the effort to say his terrible lines, and Murray is no help […] It’s limp work from Bressack, who’s been handed a rural property to play with but simply churns out the same old VOD product.”

” …James Cullen Bressack is steadily improving as an action director. Survive the Game isn’t an instant classic, but it is about as watchable as 2021 Bruce Willis can be. My criticism is the fight angles could’ve been shot smoother and how many times does Swen Temmel choke a baddie to death?” Bulletproof Action

“It lacks originality, there is no depth to the storyline, the plot is illogical, the acting isn’t the best, the shots aren’t flattering it’s packed with allusions and copycats. One would probably watch this title to point out the numerous flaws, but in terms of spending time on quality, well-done action flick, this one is a definite waste of valuable time.” Fiction Horizon

“With over ten violent criminals to contend with, Survive the Game offers up a whole lot of repetition, but in its defense, the amount of shooting and fighting it does throw at the screen is preferred to watching any of these characters engage in dialogue. Whenever that’s happening, surviving is more about not falling asleep watching.” Flickering Myth

“A pretty cool piece of cops-and-robbers action thriller that might have been shot on a budget but more than makes up for it with a fast pace, action scenes that replace explosions with actual inventiveness, and a plot that’s fittingly skeletal but doesn’t insult the audience’s intelligence – actually for what it is it’s pretty well-written, adds just the right amount of both violence and irony to the proceedings…” Search My Trash

Game is I suppose a pseudo-Western or a mere parody of action thrillers. There’s bad humor involved, a main black hat who looks like a 16-year-old, and plenty of slick cinematography that’s drenched in its own slickness. And I might as well talk about the two car chases in Game since I’m on a roll. Bressack sets them up to some horrendous rap music, has them cut by monkeys, and basically shoots from just two slants.” Views on Film

“A better than average formula thriller, Survive the Game manages to deliver more than the usual amount of action and ends with a fairly impressive final act that even includes a non-CGI explosion. It won’t go down as one of the highlights of Willis’s career, but it’s not the embarrassment many of his recent films have been either.” Voices from the Balcony

In the USA, Survive the Game will be released by Lionsgate in select theatrical locations and On-Demand on October 8, 2021. It will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on October 12th.

In the UK, Killing Field will be released on DVD by Signature Entertainment on January 17th 2022.

Cast and characters:
Bruce Willis … David
Chad Michael Murray … Eric
Sarah Roemer … Hanna
Donna D’Errico … Carly
Zack Ward … Mickey
Sean Kanan … Ed
Kate Katzman … Violet
Simon Phillips … English
Yulia Klass … Lisa
Swen Temmel … Cal
Cullen Bressack … Weather Man
Michael Sirow … Frank
Kristos Andrews … Michael
Canyon Prince … Andrew
Adam Huel Potter … Liam

Technical details:
97 minutes


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