By: John M Jerva
The Bruce Willis DTV train keeps chugging along and this weekend sees the former Die Hard star headline another action flick where he is used sparingly and offers little to the plot. This time we have Survive the Game which features Willis in another film with “Survive The” in the title and once again stars along with Chad Michael Murray who co-starred with Willis in the earlier released Survive the Night. Confused yet? Try to follow along.
Now these two films have nothing in common except for the fact that they both star Willis and Murray and they both have once again “Survive The“ in the title. This time, however, Willis stars as a cop named David who with his partner Cal played by Swen Temmell find themselves involved in a shootout with baddies and after said altercation, David is injured and fate propels both cops and criminals to the farm of grieving widower Eric played by Chad Michael Murray. Now even before seeing the film, you can pretty much figure out that a game of lethal cat and mouse will ensue between good guys and bad guys with Murray having to cowboy up to, you guessed it, Survive the Game. See what I did there.
The action is decent but nothing memorable and once again Willis is primarily confined to a chair for a majority of the film while Murray does most of the heavy lifting in the physical do gooder department. Bruce does show off some action goods especially at the beginning but not much else to report.
While Willis spends time being held hostage, it’s Murray who is in charge of saving the day. Temmel also gets rough and involved and if I’m correct, I do believe he chokes out a majority of his assailants. Maybe he’s saving his bullets for worse foes. The camera angles for the fights are suspect at times which is unfortunate because there is some solid choreography going on. If it was smoother and less tight, it may have elevated the film more.
The rest of the cast does what you’d expect from the material given and it was pretty cool to see Sean Kanan, who most of you will know played the hateful Mike Barnes in The Karate Kid Part III. Hey, that reminds me, with Thomas Ian Griffith appearing in season four of Cobra Kai, here’s hoping we see the resurgence of Mike Barnes. After all, I’d love to hear “I own you LaRusso!” One more time. One can hope.
Overall, Survive the Game is another by the numbers cops vs robbers action flick and Bruce Willis is top billed even though it’s Chad Michael Murray and Swen Temmel who do the good guy department proud. It’s not a bad film but it’s not anything to write home about either. You’ll watch it and go “eh” that was alright now that else can I watch. I’m hoping that Willis does a lot more in his action flick Paradise City with John Travolta as BTS pics have showed him with an assault rifle and there’s no other actor to latch on to in order to save the day. Maybe there’s one more John McClane-esque role left in the actor before all is said and done. I’m a fan though so I’ll always show up for a Bruce Willis flick and maybe, just maybe, we’ll shout “Yippee Ki-Ya” one more time.