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Hard Kill review – Bruce Willis logs out in ultra-basic tech thriller

Willis reprises his role as cheque-cashing frontman in this mind-numbing actioner, also starring Jesse Metcalfe

Anyone hoping Bruce Willis might enjoy a career renaissance after his rediscovery in M Night Shyamalan’s Split and Glass: lower those expectations now. Here’s Willis back in his familiar 21st-century guise of cheque-cashing frontman for tuppenny-ha’penny video-on-demand fare, drafted in to deliver terse exposition before ceding the screen to no-names with slightly more give in their knees. All evidence would suggest he spent more time than usual on this film set, albeit much of that lassoed to a chair with an extravagant snood to keep him cosy. As ex-Marine turned embattled CEO Donovan Chalmers, Willis is operating in that grey area between zero fuss and not much effort.

The main event is a nondescript shuffle around some hoary old cliches, strewn with abysmal dialogue and filmed by someone who has played a lot of first-person shooters. It transpires that Chalmers’ techno-whizz daughter (Lala Kent) has been kidnapped by international scourge named The Pardoner (Sergio Rizzuto), whose smash-the-system rhetoric, expressed in boring, sub-Dr Evil monologues, needs stomping out with privately sourced paramilitary force. The film’s stompers-in-chief are a buff platoon of kick-ass boys and girls led by erstwhile Desperate Housewives gardener Jesse Metcalfe, shrugging blandly through the kind of role (alcoholic combat veteran with a bad back) Willis himself might have enlivened in happier times.

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