(US/UK - 2018)
Directed by Brett Donowho. Written by Nicolas Aaron Mezzanatto. Cast: Cole Hauser, Bruce Willis, Shawn Ashmore, Ashton Holmes, Mike Epps, Sophia Bush, Melissa Bolona, Patrick St. Esprit, Sean Brosnan, Tiffany Brouwer, Jenna B. Kelly, Rotimi Akinosho, Matt Metzler, Christopher Rob Bowen. (R, 87 mins)
The latest installment in Lionsgate's landmark "Bruce Willis Phones In His Performance From His Hotel Room" series finds the actor celebrating the 30th anniversary of DIE HARD by spending 90% of his cumulative ten minutes of screen time seated at a desk thumbing through paperwork. As burned-out Cleveland detective Avery, Willis opens the film big, participating in a well-shot drug raid that has enough arresting camera work to show that the filmmakers watched that one episode from the first season of HBO's TRUE DETECTIVE. Avery is trying to bust a drug and human trafficking raid run by crime lord and all-around shitbag Max Livingston (the unlikely Mike Epps), who's also alternately referred to as "Max Livington" in an apparent homage to Stallone's Lincoln Hawk(s) in OVER THE TOP. But don't think Willis is putting forth any effort, because the action soon switches gears and becomes THE BROTHERS MCMULLEN remade as a blue collar TAKEN ripoff. The MacGregors took no guff as kids (they're shown decking some bullies in a flashback) and they still don't as adults. So when baby brother Roman's (A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE's Ashton Holmes) fiancee and childhood sweetheart Mia (Melissa Bolona) is abducted by Living(s)ton's goons (one of them played by Sean Brosnan, son of Pierce) and held captive among destitute women forced into drug addition and prostitution (and his inventory of "product" is depleted thanks to a bad batch of fentanyl making the rounds) and the cops' hands are inevitably tied, Roman's military vet brothers--eldest Deklan (Cole Hauser), a PTSD anger management case who can't adjust to civilian life, and elder Brandon (Shawn Ashmore), also a combat vet--give him a crash course in military and weapons training. This preps them all to go full urban SEARCHERS to mount a rescue mission to save Mia and destroy Living(s)ton's operation.