First Kill (R)

Action/Adventure 97 min. July 21, 2017
By Craig D. Lindsey
Remember when Bruce Willis used to be in good shit? I don't know what made your favorite smart-ass action hero decide to go the Nicolas Cage route and slum through straight-to-VOD schlock. Maybe dude has house payments. But years of witnessing this decline have taught me to wince every time I see his name.

In First Kill, he plays an ornery small-town police chief who springs into action when a bank gets robbed and a dead cop's body is located in the woods. Also involved is a Wall Street broker (Hayden Christensen) who has returned to his hometown with his family, looking to teach his son (Ty Shelton) how to be a man by taking him on a hunting trip. Now he must try to save his save his son when one of the robbers (Gethin Anthony) takes him hostage.

Kill is one of those instances when you can see the cast and the filmmakers -- director Steven C. Miller, who already used Willis to populate his cheapo action-thrillers Extraction and Marauders -- making a valiant effort to come up with an appealing flick, even though the script is needlessly convoluted and filled with horrible ideas and you-knew-that-was-coming twists.

Christensen is impressive as a man who uses his wits and keeps cool. His straight-faced dedication is quite the contrast to the blatant disgust Willis reveals in his performance (and, really, for the whole movie). This actually makes First Kill
Steven C. Miller Bruce Willis, Hayden Christensen, Gethin Anthony, Heather Johansen, William DeMeo, Charlotte Kirk Nick Gordon Lionsgate

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