Made on a shoestring budget, Hard Kill mixes action thriller with disaster tropes, and the result is a movie that is painfully generic – yet there’s enough crash, bang and wallop to make it at least half-watchable, particularly for those who love high-octane movies. Hard Kill stars Jessie Metcalfe as Derek Miller, an ex-marine, who has been hired by tech billionaire Donovan Chalmers (Bruce Willis), to protect a powerful piece of technology from a terrorist known as The Pardoner.
Beginning with a flashback of Miller going all guns blazing, the film quickly moves into familiar territory. After getting “the call” and meeting with Chalmers to discuss the high-stakes mission that involves an abandoned warehouse, Miller rounds up his team of trained commandos. However, things are much more complicated than they seem. Chalmers’ daughter has been kidnapped by The Pardoner, who’s out for blood and will stop at nothing to get his hands on the tech, with plans to use it to wipe out humanity.
It’s a bizarre plot that doesn’t really hold up as well it could. An interesting dynamic forms between Miller and the rest of his team, who are desperate to survive the onslaught of firepower that comes their way. Other than that, the story progresses in a predictable fashion and there aren’t a lot of surprises despite awkward attempts to be original. Metcalfe gives his all, but never quite moves past being a cliched action hero who’s in a race against the clock to save the world. Bruce Willis delivers a low-key performance as the billionaire CEO, appearing uninspired for much of the film. He does play vulnerability fairly well and makes it believable that he’s a man that needs protection by Miller and his team.
Hard Kill is everything you’ve seen before turned up a notch. The film certainly has its moments and keeps you engaged with its claustrophobic setting, but overall, Hard Kill is far too basic. As a direct-to-video release, Hard Kill doesn’t stick long in the memory.
Dir: Matt Eskandari
Scr: Chris LaMont
Cast: Jessie Metcalfe, Bruce Willis, Natalie Eva Marie, Lala Kent
Prd: Randall Emmett, George Fula, Shaun Sanghani, Mark Stewart, Alexander Eckert, Timothy C. Sullivan
DOP: Bryan Kross
Music: Rhyan D’Errico
Country: United States
Run Time: 95 minutes
Hard Kill will be available for Digital Download from 14th September