This action feature film starring Bruce Willis, Jesse Metcalfe and Lala Kent has all the ingredients for a blockbuster but unfortunately falls into the early Christmas turkey category. No doubt made largely in homage to Bruce’s mega Die Hard franchise you can find many similarities in the formula, but like its title, it doesn’t quite match up to it.
The tell tale signs are there from the beginning with the slow-mo action shots of troops under heavy fire that sound and look as realistic as you’ll get in the movies but the illusion is somewhat taken away when cover is taken behind some well placed office furniture in an empty warehouse (you know the art department must be struggling when they have to resort to some wooden pallets and even cardboard boxes).
Normal service is resumed with the arrival of Bruce in probably the largest limousine you’ll ever see without it being categorised a bus. The classic megalomanic plot is revealed, as some newly developed technology has got into the wrong hands causing a plane crash. Fortunately there is a fail safe trigger on the device to stop any further harm with only Chalmers (Bruce) able to reactivate it making him the prime target of the ‘terrorist revolutionaries’ . This is Bruce taking a backseat role as the ex-army now corporate CEO with the majority of the action to be taken up by Miller (Jesse Metcalfe, Desperate Housewives, John Tucker Must Die) and his crack squad of vigilante troops assigned to look after Chalmers.
The plot and the script seem to have all the right pieces but unfortunately aren’t quite assembled properly. Like when the hardcore team of mercenaries find out they have been betrayed as they reach the warehouse destination and discover they now have to do what seems like exactly the same mission they agreed to do in the first place – protect Bruce from the terrorist revolutionaries for a lot of cash.
The psychopathic leader of the terrorist revolutionaries is ‘The Pardoner’ (Sergio Rizzuto) who is convinced he is doing society a service by using the new technology to bring it down. ‘The Pardoner’ isn’t just a cool sounding villain’s name there’s also a nice Chaucer reference with his Pardoner’s story on greed to go with it. Which all seems to be upsetting this Pardoner quite a bit whilst he wields a particularly large golden gun that doesn’t easily go unnoticed.
There’s also strong female characters too with Eva (Lala Kent) who is Chalmer’s daughter and the cause of all this trouble as the designer of ‘Project 725’. A smart woman with a social conscience who only wanted to see her technology used properly to help people but mistakenly hands it over to ‘The Pardoner’ after she had found out the corporation only wanted it for military purposes.
From there on in there’s the hostage, siege, rescue melees with a strange mix of jumped scenes and clanging dialogue that would, despite all the violence, be better suited for a lower aged audience to find its true appeal. In the end a below par ode to the real McClane Die Hard movies, held together by the man himself.
Film: Hard Kill
Run time: 1hr 38min
Director: Matt Eskandari
Genre: Action / Thriller
Stars: Jesse Metcalfe, Bruce Willis, Lala Kent, Natalie Eva Marie