(director: Matt Eskandari; screenwriters: Joe Russo/Chris Lamont/story by Clayton Haugen & Nikolai From; cinematographer: Bryan Koss; editor: R. J. Cooper; music: Rhyan D’Errico; cast: Jesse Metcalfe (Derek Miller), Bruce Willis (Donovan Chalmers), Natalie Eva Marie (Sasha), Swen Temmel (Dash), Tyler Jon Olson ( Lt. Colton), Sergio Rizzuto (Pardoner), Lala Kent (Eva), Texas Battle (Nick Fox), Jon Galanis (Harrison Zindel ), Jacqie Nguyen (Gemma), Nick Patron (Limo Driver); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Randall Emmett, George Furla, Shaun Sanghani, Alex Eckert, Tim Sullivan, Mark Stewart ; Vertical Entertainment; 2020)
“Though I’ve seen worse thrillers, this was bad enough.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A shoddy crime thriller shot in a mere 10 days and lazily directed by Matt Eskandari (“Survive the Night”/”Trauma Center”). It’s tritely written by Joe Russo and Chris Lamont, from a dumb story by Clayton Haugen & Nikolai From.
Billionaire tech mystery mogul Donovan Chalmers (Bruce Willis), known as a former legendary soldier, hires mercenaries (former black ops soldiers he served with) to protect a lethal piece of technology he developed. Chalmers talks the heavily tattooed mercenary, Derek Miller (Jesse Metcalfe), a soldier pal, into taking the security job by the soldier who saved his life, Nick Fox (Texas Battle). Miller then convinces his mercenary team–the hard-ass Sasha Zindel (Natalie Eva Marie), her reckless brother Harrison (Jon Galsanis), and the gung-ho Dash Hawkins (Swen Temmel)–to join him in the mission. The mission becomes even higher risk when Chalmers inspects an abandoned factory for his site and his estranged techie daughter Eva (Lala Kent) is kidnapped after aligning with the bad guys, a terrorist group who want the deadly merchandise at any cost.
Miller and his team must race against the clock to save her and the human race before it’s too late.
We are further filled in that Chalmers’ product is the AI system called Project 725, and is a weapon that can destroy the world. The twisted terrorist, a one-dimensional villain, considers himself an idealist.
The problem for the madman is that only Chalmers knows the code to crank-up the program and will not share it. The madman bargains for the tech program in exchange for Eva.
By this time daddy and Eva have settled their dispute with a heart-to-heart chat, and Pardoner’s black-clad group are no match for Miller’s crack military group. Though Pardoner’s tech smart lady partner (Jacqie Nguyen) proves to be a capable foe.
Though I’ve seen worse thrillers, this was bad enough.
REVIEWED ON 9/29/2020 GRADE: D