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Out of Death movie review: Bruce Willis’ senseless action thriller disappoints miserably

Out of Death charts the story of a former cop as he takes up the cause of a trapped hiker who is being hunted down by a group of corrupt cops.

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  • Shreya Paul

  • OTTplay

Last Updated: 06.04 PM, Jan 14, 2022

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Story: After losing his wife to cancer, former police officer Jack Harris goes to his niece’s secluded forest home to reorient himself. During one of his aimless wonderings, he chances upon Shannon, a hiker who is captured by a group of corrupt cops after she witnesses their illegal drug deal. Jack is quick to come to her rescue and get her out of the mire.

Review:

Out of Death proves to be yet another action film that features Bruce Willis without featuring him. Out of Death is the actor’s 21st straight-to-video project in a row, which probably hints at his fading stars.

The once-popular Die Hard hero now seems to be cashing in on a few quick and easy cheques by making these inconspicuous appearances in mid-budget films.

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Out of Death follows retired cop Jack Harris (Willis) who moves to a forest to get away from the grief of his recently deceased wife. He moves in with his niece (played by Kelly Grayson) and spends his initial days wandering aimlessly in the wilderness and ruminating on life and loss.

On one such morning stroll, Jack accidentally finds himself a witness of a crime scene where a few corrupt policemen are about to kill a hiker named Shannon (Jaime King) after she witnesses a secret drug deal.

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Willis’ Jack immediately comes to her rescue and the two get embroiled in a hackneyed cat-and-mouse chase with armed gunmen on their heels. The fascinating bit about the film begins at this juncture, where we find ourselves squinting hard into the screen to get any sign of Willis.

Minutes into taking up Shannon’s cause, Jack leaves the action-centre completely with a confused audience just viewing King battling it out through thick fauna and an even thicker plot, in that, it’s thick as a wall – impregnable for we care.

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None of the characters are well etched out and the suspense factor is feeble and forgettable. It’s almost as if, Willis knew this film would be an actual dud, and decided instead to take a hike in between crucial junctures.

King’s performance though sincere, is fraught with ham moments and an inauthentic screenplay. Her struggles and will to survive are never passionate enough for viewers to invest in her predicaments. Willis’ performance on the other hand is completely emotionless. He is sans any iota of believability and somehow just mouths the dialogue like a humanoid.

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But performance aside, the work behind the lens is also quite shoddy. Director Mike Burns attempts to evoke the Tarantinoesque world where action and thrill go hand in hand. But what Burns instead achieves is a wannabe version of it, with stuttered acting and poor execution.

To be fair, the premise of Out of Death was genuinely one that could have developed to form a thrilling feature, what with delinquent cops and a gutsy hiker and the chase that ensues. But unfortunately for Burns, this one barely hovers around the space of ‘meaningful’, let alone be engaging.

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Willis’ turn as Jack is both sad news and a sign of positive casting, allowing actors above a certain age to take up challenging action roles. The fact that it is sad is mostly to do with what the actor has been reduced to in the recent past. His fading enthusiasm about the film is evident with his performance in it. John McClane’s charisma and charm enticed people globally, but it seems Willis is unable to conjure that kind of pull anymore.

Verdict: Out of Death may actually be an apt title, considering you feel like you just stepped out of a static death machine after the 80-minute runtime of the senseless bore-a-thon.


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