His latest film is EXTRACTION and it is…well - it’s a lot of things - but original isn’t one of them.
When a terrorist group kidnaps retired CIA spook, Turner (Bruce Willis), his devastatingly handsome but charisma-free son, Harry (Kellan Lutz), a pencil-pusher who isn’t suitable for field service (he failed the test 4 times), launches his own unsanctioned rescue operation to get his Dad back. Harry teams up with ex-lover and the operative assigned to bring him in, Victoria Fair (ex-MMA fighter Gina Carano in a remarkably wooden performance - surely she should be getting better at this acting malarkey by now?) to find dear papa and make the world right again.
That’s it. That’s the plot. Honestly. And it feels stretched at 75-minutes. EXTRACTION is literally scene-after-scene, cobbled together by cliche-after-cliche. If you can think of a trite seen-it-a-million-times-before scenario, you can bet your bottom dollar, it’s here. To say Willis is phoning it in is an understatement. This is the kind of nonsense he can do in his sleep, which begs the question why? Easy money? Rent due? Needs a new vinyl player? ... We expect this tosh from Steven Seagal, but not Bruce.
If there is something positive to take away from EXTRACTION it's how good it looks and how quickly it’s paced. Much like his previous film, SILENT NIGHT, Miller keeps the film rattling along with super-slick visuals (even if they are colour-graded to hell) and a relentless velocity, which helps mask the fact that the plot is atom-thin and the characters are of cookie-cutter standard. A fight in a bathroom (yep, there’s one of those too) proves to be an interesting two-minute diversion, but that’s as good as it gets.
If writers Max Adams and Umair Aleem spent as much time on a second draft as Willis spent on set, EXTRACTION may have been a little straight-to-DVD gem perfect for a Friday night with the boys, but as it stands it’s just not up to scratch. Not by a long way.