“Reprisal” Somehow Manages to Waste Both Bruce Willis and Frank Grillo


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.

Lionsgate Premiere
Opens August 31, Cinema Village
Available on demand


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