Story: Derek Miller (Jesse Metcalfe) has just landed the contract of a lifetime, as his security operation has been hired to work for eccentric billionaire Chalmers (Bruce Willis). Even beyond the large payment for such a service, this kind of assignment will yield even more in reputation, the kind of job that can take Derek’s business to the next level. In order to reap those benefits however, Derek will have to overcome his past, as an old rival is involved in the mission. Known as The Pardoner (Sergio Rizzuto), this man has a deep past with Derek and since The Pardoner is the one who Chalmers needs to deal with, Derek will be under even more pressure than normal. Given a difficult mission and an intense pressure to succeed, can Derek secure his future or will he be left in the past for good?

Entertainment Value: Hard Kill has some brief flashes of b movie fun, but overall, this is another assembly line, forgettable action movie, pretty much line with most of Bruce Willis’ direct to video output. The story here is passable, but it has no fresh twists or creative touches, though naming the big villain The Pardoner was a little humorous. The script is weak at best, churning out bland, copy and paste dialogue, which the cast delivers with minimal enthusiasm. I don’t expect these Bruce Willis cash-ins to provide a showcase of thespian skills, but Hard Kill really emphasizes how rushed and sloppy these direct to video movies can be in some hands. No real tension to speak of, as the writing fails to build atmosphere or make us invest in the narrative, so it is difficult to care what happens, since the writers didn’t seem to put much effort into what ended up on screen. The action scenes don’t fare much better, generic and forgettable set pieces that leave no impression. At least some fun, creative action scenes would have been welcome, to spice things up and add a little entertainment, but no such luck. Unless you’re a devoted Willis fan that has to see them all, Hard Kill is safe to skip.

As with countless other direct to video action flicks, Hard Kill seems to have been pushed out to cash in on Bruce Willis’ drawing power. And since he flooded the market for a few years with these clunkers, there must be an audience for these. I’ve watched quite a few and Willis always seems to play the same role and give basically the same performance, with some minor variations. He doesn’t seem as bored as usual here and has some energetic moments, but for the most part, he is partnered with a costar that handles the bulk of the scenes. I suppose if you’re a big fan of Willis, just seeing him in another movie might provide some enjoyment, but he has a rich, deep catalog of movies to explore, so Hard Kill isn’t one of the most pressing titles on his resume. Jesse Metcalfe has the lead and is watchable, but is held back by the material and isn’t able to stand out here. The cast also includes Lala Kent, Texas Battle, Tyler Jon Olson, and Natalie Eva Marie.

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