Blu-ray Review: Reprisal

By , Contributor
Reprisal, new to Blu-ray October 16 via Lionsgate Films, is yet another direct-to-video Bruce Willis vehicle. I don't know what the deal is with all these DTV movies Willis makes, but they usually feature him in just enough scenes to justify his above-the-title billing. The underrated Death Wish put Willis back on the big screen earlier this year, and in January 2019 we'll see him in M. Night Shyamalan's highly-anticipated Split and Unbreakable sequel, Glass.

But for the time being, Bruce Willis fans have to take what they can get. Reprisal is a passably entertaining heist thriller. The real star here, in terms of screen time, is Frank Grillo (star of the Purge films Anarchy and Election Year). Director Brian A. Miller conducts business in workmanlike fashion, but his opening bank heist—Grillo's Jacob is branch manager—proves to be suitably exciting in a low-rent kind of way. Though carefully planned, the heist involves a fatality and Jacob sets his sights on tracking down the people behind it, a quest that eventually endangers his own family.

Willis plays Jacob's neighbor James, turning in roughly the same performance we see Willis offer in any number of these DTV action thrillers. James has some sort of high-level government background. He teams with Jacob to try to hunt down the murderous bank robbers. Or does James actually have something to do with the whole heist? This isn't the freshest or most clever film, so any resulting suspense is pretty mild. For the record, Willis stays largely out of the action until quite late in the film.

Special features on the Blu-ray edition of Reprisal include interviews by a variety of participants, though Willis is not among them. Basically, if you're a Bruce fan you'll probably want to give Reprisal a spin. It's really no worse than any of his other generic thrillers of the past decade or so. And as a fan myself, I've sat through most of these flicks (stuff like First Kill, Marauders, Extraction, Fire with Fire) and I can say with some authority that Reprisal is actually better than most of them.

Maybe that's damning with faint praise, but until Glass hits theaters it'll have to do.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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