PARADISE CITY (2022) Reviews of John Travolta, Bruce Willis action thriller

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Paradise City is a 2022 American action thriller film about the son of a bounty hunter trying to wreak vengeance on a crime kingpin.

Directed by Chuck Russell (I Am Wrath; The Scorpion King; Bless the Child; Eraser; The Mask; The Blob; A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors) from a screenplay co-written with producer Corey Large and Edward Drake (director of Detective Knight: Rogue; Gasoline AlleyAmerican SiegeApexCosmic SinBroil)

The movie stars John Travolta (The Fanatic; Pulp Fiction), Bruce Willis (Wire RoomWhite ElephantGasoline AlleyAmerican SiegeApexMidnight in the SwitchgrassOut of DeathHard KillCosmic SinBreachDie Hard franchise), Blake Jenner, Praya Lundberg, Lorenzo Antonucci, Amber Abara and Stephen Dorff (Old Henry; Leatherface; feardotcom).

Plot synopsis:
When bounty hunter Ian Swan (Bruce Willis) is shot and presumed dead after disappearing in Maui waters, Swan’s son, Ryan (Blake Jenner), his ex-partner (Stephen Dorff), and a local detective (Praya Lundberg) set out to find his killers.

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After being threatened by a ruthless power broker (John Travolta), it appears Ryan and his team are out of options — until an excursion to the closely guarded island community of Paradise City unites them with an unforeseen ally…

Release:
In the US, Paradise City was released theatrically and on VOD by Saban Films on November 11, 2022. Order UHD or HD release via Amazon Prime

Reviews:
“Unfortunately, Paradise City is quick to accept formula, with 25 producers overseeing a film where nondescript bad guys shoot at nondescript good guys over cartel business. Blah. As for Travolta and Willis, there’s no electricity in the picture, with the stars here to enjoy a Hawaiian vacation and trade a few lines of dialogue.” Blu-ray.com

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“Bruce Willis isn’t much the main star anyway since his character is practically non-existent for the large bulk of the movie. It turns out that Blake Jenner leads the movie anyway in an unforgivably wooden performance as Ryan Swan. John Travolta fares equally worst in his antagonist turn as Buckley while Praya Lundberg is nothing more than mere eye candy…” Casey’s Movie Mania

“Though Travolta is 68 and Willis 67, this is hardly what we’d normally call retirement, more like cheapening oneself. Willis is busy – but not working all that hard. His appearances are rather minimal. Travolta has more scenes here. There is even a shootout at the end between the two. It’s all pretty routine, nineties TV-series stuff.” Chris Knipp

“The action flick is far too dimwitted and derivative to recommend. Some audiences might find some mean-spirited joy in poking fun at Blake Jenner’s bland and vacant lead performance, but the real ironic appeal of Paradise City comes from watching a movie starring John Travolta and Bruce Willis do everything possible not to have the famed actors on screen together. It almost rises to the level of a meta-in joke but not quite.” Geeks

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“Sure, his film contains reliable and entertaining components like most action features do — including an underlying vengeance plot, an expert conman, and even a budding romance — but these elements tend to quickly run their courses thanks to a predictable script, wonky dialogue, and pacing issues. If not for the efforts of the cast and their remarkable chemistries, it could have quickly ventured off into a complete snooze fest.” 2 out of 5, Screen Rant

“Far from what it could’ve been but just as distant from the flop many might’ve expected with latter-day Willis, Paradise City is just an acceptable way to pass the time. Nothing much sets it apart, the cast does fine (even Willis, who seems more engaged despite his occasionally obvious illness), and the crime elements are okay.” Voices from the Balcony

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