Seeing Bruce Willis in the movies these days is damn embarrassing. The action icon appears to just wander from one into the next — sometimes as a favor to someone working on the movie — taking the phrase phoning it in to astonishing heights.
In Reprisal, he’s an ex-cop (of course!) and the next-door neighbor of a bank manager (Frank Grillo) whose bank was recently robbed. Since that heist left one co-worker dead, our tormented protagonist is obsessed with stopping the criminal from robbing/killing again. So he gets together with his next-door pal to figure out this cat’s next move.
You can tell that the filmmakers only had Willis for a limited number of days during filming. Despite sharing top billing with Grillo, the man only shows up in a few scenes — mostly all set in the same interior location — giving the minimum number of fucks. And when Willis does have to go outside, he awkwardly gets spliced in along with shots of the bald-headed double who subbed for him when he wasn’t there. (See what I mean when I say this is embarrassing?)
It’s bad enough this film is another flimsy, unsurprising, straight-to-streaming actioner/highlight reel for Grillo, who seems to want people to know he’s ready to headline a blockbuster tentpole flick. But it’s downright sad watching Willis go all half-assed in another movie. I guess we’re gonna have to wait for Glass to come out next year to see if Willis can do a movie in whole-assed form again.
Opens August 31, Cinema Village
Available on demand
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 29, 2018