DETECTIVE KNIGHT: ROGUE (AMAZON PRIME) (2022)
SYNOPSIS: Bruce Willis stars as veteran Detective James Knight, dedicated to navigating the demanding streets of Los Angeles, in this thrilling first of a trilogy of films. As the city prepares for Halloween, mask-wearing armed robbers critically wound Knight’s partner in a shootout following a heist. With Knight in hot pursuit, the bandits flee L.A. for New York, where the detective’s dark past collides with his present case and threatens to tear his world apart…unless redemption can claim Knight first.
Edward John Drake and Corey Large, two names famous for making countless indie action movies with Bruce Willis is back doing a crime trilogy with him, the supposedly last on-screen appearances of the superstar who suffers from a brain condition.
If you have been following Drake and Large’s body of works which include Breach, Apex, Cosmic Sin and American Siege, you know you won’t be impressed by their latest, Detective Knight: Rogue.
A group of ex-football players led by Casey Rhodes (Beau Mirchoff) are wanted by Detective Knight (Willis) and Detective Sango (Jimmy Jean-Louis) for stealing money from a security truck and hurting Knight’s partner in the process. In actual fact, Casey and his gang are working for an ex-bookie, Winna (Michael Eklund) and their next planned heist is stealing a precious football trading card in an auction.
The dynamic team of Drake and Large even throws in a backstory of Knight which is somewhat clumsily linked to Winna. As to why Winna has to resort to using a bunch of disgruntled football players and commit a felony to steal a card that is worth only US$2 million in the end is everyone’s guess.
To be fair, Detective Knight: Rogue clearly does have more effort put in than the rest of their low-budget productions. For a start, the cinematography and editing are more than decent this time round. There is more depth to the characters especially Casey Rhodes and his partners, Michael (Wayne Gretsky) and Sykes (Keeya Keeyes), athletes who no longer has a part to play in today’s society after being ousted.
Still, viewers are here to watch a certain Bruce Willis and unfortunately, you won’t get to see a variation of John McClane or Mr Church ever again. Like it or not, the entire story is built around the character of Casey Rhodes giving Willis the usual limited screentime as he appears intermittently talking mostly to Detective Sango and firing a few shots in the opening sequence.
Drake and Large again employed the same tactic as per their Bruce Willis productions that is leaving the finale “action” sequence to Willis but making it absolutely efficient and ridiculous that everything is conveniently wrapped up within minutes.
There is obviously not much of a tension or excitement to talk about in a movie liked Detective Knight: Rogue despite Detective Knight being a colourful, rogue character which is not given the chance to shine or develop. Perhaps it’s largely due to Willis’ condition or budgetary concerns. Anyway, for a flick that is supposedly the first of a trilogy, this doesn’t ring much of a confidence.
Review by Linus Tee