American Siege review – Bruce Willis sleepwalks through more garbage

January 8, 2022
Jonathon Wilson 0
Film, Film Reviews
1.5

Summary

The latest in the storied “Bruce Willis steals a paycheck” canon, American Siege is a brainless crime drama that its ostensible star sleepwalks all the way through.

1.5

Summary

The latest in the storied “Bruce Willis steals a paycheck” canon, American Siege is a brainless crime drama that its ostensible star sleepwalks all the way through.

This review of American Siege is spoiler-free.


I’ve been fortunate over the last few years in that I’ve only had to review a couple of Bruce Willis’s interminable late-career straight-to-VOD releases, a hilarious canon characterized by Willis stealing a paycheck and spending, on average, about ten minutes of screen time sat around doing nothing. The last one I covered was Hard Kill, an egregiously dopey actioner in which Willis played the CEO of a technology company. Here, he’s playing a Georgia Sheriff named Ben Watts, though you’d never know the difference. As ever, Willis could double as a piece of expensive lawn furniture, a wooden and immobile showpiece designed to up the curb value but not actually do anything substantial.

Georgia, in this film, is a cartoon land of hick stereotypes, and the plot hinges on a kind of lawlessness that makes police officers, private militias, regular rednecks, and local business owners basically interchangeable. The entire thing, essentially, is one long stand-off, and while it eventually amounts to a fair amount of bloodshed, it’s hard to consider it a reasonable payoff to a languid 90-minutes of aimless go-nowhere dialogue.

The main idea, plot-wise, is that a decade ago, teenager Brigit Baker (Sarah May Sommers) went missing, and now her boyfriend Roy (Rob Gough), along with her gun-toting sister Grace (Anna Hindman) and her Bible-bashing cousin Toby (Johann Urb), want to know where she went. They think that a pharmacist (Cullen G Chambers) has the answers, so they raid his home looking for them, and a painfully lengthy stand-off ensues.

Director Edward Drake wrote the screenplay for American Siege, while Corey Large gets a story credit, and it’s obvious that both found it much more interesting on paper than it ends up being on film. There’s a twist of sorts, but it’s hardly enough to justify the build-up, and when Willis eventually starts putting bullets in heads, it’s like he has woken up from a lucid dream and decided to get all this over with as quickly as he possibly can. It’s quick, but not quite quick enough to spare us the suffering, though do look out for Timothy V Murphy doing a halfway decent villain turn deserving of a better movie.

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