A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Hard Kill is an uninspired, unimaginative action movie starring Bruce Willis and Jesse Metcalfe about efforts to stop a terrorist from stealing special tech to create a weapon. Expect lots of guns and shooting, with blood spurts, bloody wounds, neck slicing, stabbing, fighting, punching, and kicking. Characters die, including some who are sympathetic. A man tries to come on to a woman in a bar -- he ogles her revealing outfit and her bottom -- and she physically subdues him. Women are somewhat objectified. Language includes many uses of "f--k," "s--t," "son of a bitch," and more. There's some social drinking in a bar (beers and shots).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In HARD KILL, security expert Derek Miller (Jesse Metcalfe) is offered a job by billionaire CEO Donovan Chalmers (Bruce Willis) to help protect a piece of tech that could change the world. Miller convinces his old crew -- Sasha (Natalie Eva Marie), Dash (Swen Temmel), and Lt. Colton (Tyler Jon Olson) -- to join him for the job, promising a large paycheck. But it turns out that the gig isn't just guarding the device, but also protecting Chalmers from a terrorist called the Pardoner (Sergio Rizzuto). The Pardoner has kidnapped Chalmers' daughter, Eva (Lala Kent), and already has the device, and just needs Chalmers' passcode to activate it. The team is taken to an abandoned warehouse, where they must prepare for the battle of their lives.
Is it any good?
Clunky dialogue, lazy exposition, stiff acting, wobbly camerawork, a dull villain, and a ridiculous situation are just part of what awaits viewers in this astoundingly bad action movie. Willis re-teams with director Matt Eskandari after their equally bad Survive the Night for a movie that feels like it could have been put together by a computer and churned out on a factory assembly line. Even the title, Hard Kill, seems randomly slapped together, stolen from other movie titles (including, perhaps not coincidentally, Willis' own Die Hard).
The entire setup requires the heroes to be easily fooled into becoming "the cavalry" for Chalmers -- and on Eva simply walking up to the Pardoner (whose nickname sounds like "partner" when spoken fast) and pretty much asking to be kidnapped. Also, the whole thing is about ... a passcode? It seems as if, for an evil genius, there might be an easier way to go about this, and all so he can turn the device "into a weapon." Hard Kill is just all so numbingly impersonal and unimaginative, and even Willis -- who at least gets to do more here than he did in Survive the Night -- just looks tired and spent, so very far away from his best work.
Talk to your kids about ...
Do the movie's heroes practice teamwork? How?
Is it responsible to make movies about terrorists? Should the subject be off-limits, or is it better to discuss it?
Are women objectified in this movie? Are they strong characters with their own driving forces, or do they reinforce stereotypes?
- In theaters: August 21, 2020
- On DVD or streaming: August 25, 2020
- Cast: Bruce Willis, Jesse Metcalfe, Sergio Rizzuto
- Director: Matt Eskandari
- Studio: Vertical Entertainment
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 98 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: violence and language throughout
- Last updated: October 29, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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