Bruce Willis is putting together a late-career run that has him starring in straight-to-streaming action movies that have him playing varying versions of himself that we’ve seen in past films. It’s an interesting move, essentially just recycling as many action tropes as one can cobble together and sticking Willis in the middle of the fray. This latest movie looks like it very much continues on that path with Bruce Willis now starring in Apex, a hunted vs. the hunter flick that gives Willis as many one-liners as he can handle.
The latest trailer for Apex looks very much like a straight to DTV special, with Bruce Willis playing Thomas Malone, an ex-soldier who is now on a pay-to-hunt-humans island, a quasi-resort for the armed, rich and psychotic who’ve paid a fee to get the chance to hunt down human prey. As with many other movies of this ilk, they are about to get more than they bargained for with Willis’s Malone more than up to the task of turning the proverbial tables on them. Check out Bruce Willis in the trailer for Apex.
Does Apex look more than a little silly? Sure, I doubt anyone was taking this all that seriously. The dialogue is a bit canned and forced, with Neal McDonough at one point screaming, “Bring me the head of Thomas Malone!!!” without even a hint of sardonic irony. And Bruce Willis is on full display here, chucking axes and humorous pre-kill quips with the same deadly accuracy. He even lights up a cigar in the middle of the hunt to celebrate another victory. Again, it would almost appear to be a comedy if it didn’t look like the on-screen talent was taking it so seriously.
For Bruce Willis, this is another team-up with director Edward John Drake, a recent collaborator in the former’s direct-to-video run of late. The two also worked on Cosmic Sin and Breach together. The two movies combined to score 23% on Rotten Tomatoes if that gives an inkling into the critical reception these movies have seen. Other recent films for Willis in this same vein of late have included Hard Kill, Survive the Night, and 10 Minutes Gone.
Look, I can see the appeal behind these kinds of movies and why Bruce Willis would keep trotting them out. They are relatively mindless, full of enough action, and from an acting perspective pretty easy lifts. Again, Bruce Willis just mostly shows up as a version of John McLane that can rack up a body count and act pretty gruff around the edges. It mostly works for his particular brand.
And Bruce Willis has a ton of movies lined up in the near future, about as long a working list as you’ll ever see for one actor. In addition to Apex, which is due out on November 12th of this year, he has no less than eight other films planned in the next year plus. Most are in a similar vein with the Edward John Drake collaboration happening again in American Siege, Gasoline Alley, and Paradise City. There will be plenty more chances to see Bruce Willis doing his best Bruce Willis impersonation.