Director: Jared Cohn
Cast: Bruce Willis, Patrick Muldoon, Matthew Marsden, Michael Devorzon, Johnny Messner, Stephen Sepher, Ava Paloma, Kelcey Rose Weimer
Runtime: 1 hr 37 mins
Rating: NC16 (Coarse Language and Violence)
Released By: Shaw Organisation
Opening Day: 21 April 2022
Synopsis: An ex-military man working at a Georgia power plant has to spring into action to prevent disaster when a group of rogue soldiers gain control of the plant and take the employees hostage.
On 30th March 2022, the family of Hollywood superstar Bruce Willis announced that he is stepping away from the silver screen as he is suffering from aphasia, a disease which impact his cognitive abilities. It has long been rumoured Willis is suffering from some kind of sickness and he is trying hard to secure a better future for his family by appearing in all sorts of on demand and direct-to-video releases. At least for now, we know the motive behind his prolific outputs for the past years.
However, a dud is still a dud no matter how you look at it. Deadlock is yet another generic action thriller although this time, it’s filled with enough generic shoot-ups to make it at least watchable or bearable for 96 minutes.
When a supposedly drug bust went awry killing a young man while his younger brother imprisoned, their father Ron (Willis) decides to take revenge at the “system” and holds everyone at a hydroelectric plant hostage with the help of a team of mercenaries. Instead of Willis being in the wrong place at the wrong time, here comes Mack (Patrick Muldoon), a former ranger turned company welder who decides to team up with a mousy security guard, Tommy (Douglas S. Matthews) to save the day.
Co-written by director Jared Cohn and Cam Cannon (USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage), the duo attempts to work out a big hassle in Deadlock but without much purpose or intent. Our antagonist Ron Whitlock besides planning to kill the cop responsible for his son’s death also intends to open the floodgates to kill thousands of innocent people. There’s no specific reason as to why Ron intends to execute this wicked plan of his except the fact that he has gone bananas.
Our hero, Mack Karr is a messed up ex-Ranger, alcoholic perhaps and has an ex-wife working at the same plant. There’s so little we know of Mack. Essentially it’s more of a challenge to know more about Mack than him shooting most of his opponents dead. Apparently, Mack and Tommy seems to gain bulletproof superpower running from one end of the plant to another hardly without a scratch.
As if there’s not enough clichés and conveniences, Cohn and Cannon piles the movie with a sick man, a busload of visiting students and a handful of the plant staff related in some ways to other characters. The narrative on the whole is plain lazy and the pacing uneven. In actual fact, the movie needs to frequently cuts to Mack firing his pistol at his enemies in order to hold your attention.
To address the elephant in the room, Willis’ performance as a villain is more or less one note or pretty much the same as his other VOD outings. Whether it’s a retired cop, retired CIA agent, crime lord or a shady banker, it’s merely Willis earning his touted $1million a day paycheck without much of a heart or effort put in. As mentioned prior, a dud is still a dud no matter how you look at it.
(A forgettable substandard B-movie starring the once great Bruce Willis)
Review by Linus Tee