Like a ticking time bomb in one of his many action flicks, the time left to see legendary star Bruce Willis on screen in a new movie is running out. Willis is retiring from acting due to a condition called aphasia, which is the loss of ability to understand or express language. It’s a sad reminder that even our heroes up on the silver screen are mortal. But much like life itself, let’s enjoy our time with Willis while we can.
Writer/director Edward Drake’s Detective Knight: Redemption, co-written by Corey Large, is a follow-up to Detective Knight: Rogue. Redemption is the middle film of a trilogy and one of the final movies for Willis. As I mentioned for Rogue, Willis is clearly not the actor he once was, which is understandable due to his condition. As a result, he doesn’t have much dialogue, which sticks out even more in this movie.
I became invested in the stories of vigilante Detective James Knight (Bruce Willis), the former football star turned felon Casey Rhodes (Beau Mirchoff), and Knight’s now wheelchair-bound partner Fitzgerald (Lochlyn Munro) in Rogue. After the events of that film, Knight and Rhodes are, interestingly, locked up in the same prison together. A major strength of this franchise is its cast and how they play off one another.
“…a group of armed Santas wearing masks and making holiday quips while they rob a bank.”
The story of Detective Knight: Redemption takes place during Christmas time and opens with a group of armed Santas wearing masks and making holiday quips while they rob a bank. It’s a promising start for an action movie, although the rest of the film is largely devoid of action. That is until the fun finale that allows Willis to let loose a little once again.
The ringleader of the bad Santas is a man with a colorful past named Ricky (Paul Johansson), who enjoys giving long-winded speeches about how they need to rob banks because the prison and financial systems are rigged against them. Johansson does some great work, but his motivation could have been fleshed out better than it is presented. I think it’s cool that this trilogy allows for shades of gray and gets us to sympathize a bit more with Casey’s character through his love for his family. But I was hoping for the Ricky character to be even more persuasive with his reasons for hating “the one percent” in order to make his villain that much stronger.
Again, Willis is the action hero in Detective Knight: Redemption, which should be reason enough for his fans to see it. His role was juicier in Rogue, but like when Michael Jordan was playing for the Wizards, it’s still fun to see him out there, even though you know he’s not at the top of his game. We can only hope for a worthy send-off in the final installment of the Detective Knight series, but as it stands, the memories we share onscreen of Willis are enough to last a lifetime. Yippee-Ki-Yay, Motherf*cker!
For more information about Detective Knight: Redemption, visit the Lionsgate official website.
"…the memories we share onscreen of Willis are enough to last a lifetime."