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Parents' Guide to

Wrong Place

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Diverse cast is highlight of atrocious, violent actioner.

Movie NR 2022 96 minutes
Wrong Place Movie Poster

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Throwaway action films like this one are known for featuring a former but memorable tough guy marquee name, a forgettable plot, a low production budget, and a high weapon count. They've been around for decades, but in the 2020s, they've been largely associated with one name: Bruce Willis. Of course, the name they should be associated with is that of executive producer Randall Emmett. Emmett is the creator of what's been dubbed "the geezer teaser," i.e., movies featuring limited appearances by the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, and John Travolta. Around the time of Wrong Place's release, Emmett was facing several lawsuits and allegations of abuse of power against actors, assistants, and business partners. Also, Willis' family shared the news that he has aphasia and had been struggling with the condition for quite some time, including during the making of this film. Knowing either of these pieces of information makes it difficult to watch the movie: It's hard to get lost in the story if you're worrying about the well-being of the star and hoping he's not being taken advantage of.

While Wrong Place is typical of most of Emmett's movies of this ilk (meaning it's not well made, well written, or well acted), Willis holds his own. Unlike other collaborations the two have worked on in which the plot has Willis confined to a hospital bed or tied to a chair for most of the movie, with most of the other characters carrying much of the weight, he's definitely the star here. It's the story of Frank and his daughter, Chloe (Ashley Greene), and while they rarely share the screen, we get enough of Willis to feel like he's OK, present, and (hopefully) even enjoying himself. The fact that the film starts out with a scene of Chloe receiving a cancer diagnosis sets an unexpected softer tone for a "blood and bullets" action film. Even more surprising is the positive, counter-stereotypical portrayal of a loving, committed same-sex couple. Add to this a positively depicted Black police captain, and there's a lot to indicate good intentions. That goodwill doesn't make the film any better. But the message of "always be prepared" does land -- even if it's the only thing here that can make that claim.

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