‘Hard Kill‘ is an action flick directed by Matt Eskandari, based on a screenplay by Chris LaMont and Joe Russo. It was filmed in Cincinnati and released through Vertical Entertainment.
Soldier-turned-mercenary Derek Miller (Jesse Metcalfe) is approached by his military friend Nicholas Fox (Texas Battle) to do security for a high tech millionaire named Donovan Chalmers (Bruce Willis). Chalmers’ is being targeted by a terrorist known as The Pardoner (Sergio Rizzuto), who kidnapped his daughter Eva Chalmers (Lala Kent) and stole some technology that they weaponize. Derek agrees since he and the Pardoner have history. He gathers his small team Sasha (Natalie Eva Marie), Dash (Swen Temmel), and Colton (Tyler Jon Olson), but are tricked into setting up a trap to lead the Pardoner into the open. Pinned down with no escape, Derek and his team prepare for the fight of their lives as the Pardoner’s gang close in to kidnap Chalmer for the code to work the technology.
As action thrillers go, I thought this one provided lots of guns, explosions, scowling, and Martial Arts to keep your adrenaline going. However, I did feel like this movie cared more about checking off things from a B-movie list to make the film.
Loners pinned down. Check. MacGuffin to make the plot exist. Check. A regular chick who happens to also be super smart. Check. Well-known action star. Check. Lesser-known star laying the villain. Check. Betrayal. Check. An action chick. Check. Death of a character you didn’t care about, to begin with that rallies the team. Check. To be clear, known of these things are necessarily bad, but when they are all thrown into the pot and boiled it started to feel derivative, and while the gunfire kept me distracted, it was not enough to keep me totally invested in the plot.
The film fails completely to utilize Bruce Willis in the plot. He was just kind of there to make the events happen and I know he is getting a bit old for these action sequences, but still… you have him. At least give him opportunities to act. Most everyone else did a decent job with the material at their disposal and Natalie Eva Marie was an excellent addition to the cast. Lala Kent did not do a good job. Her acting felt incredibly forced and wooden. The director must have realized this during production because I do not think she says a word in the first thirty minutes of the film. When she did deliver lines, it had about as little charisma that I could think possible.
Bottom line, Hard Kill is one of those movies to watch if you just need some adrenaline for a few minutes. Outside of that, it is unoriginal and fails to capitalize on Bruce Willis’ abilities, which could have been the movie’s saving grace.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong violence, strong language
FAVORITE QUOTE: We’ll send the bill to Chapter House.
Check out the trailer below:
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