Bruce Willis is long in the tooth, but if there’s one thing Eastwood’s long career taught us, it’s that action stars can still get it done so long as the most physical thing they have to pull off is pulling a trigger.
Eli Roth was a celebrated star of horror cinema back when “Hostel” came out and “torture porn” was so-named. He’s sought his fortune by parlaying his fame in the 13 years since into producing other people’s ultra-violent horror pictures.
His credits as a writer and/or director over those years have been singularly underwhelming –– “The Green Inferno,” anyone? “Knock Knock?” At least he didn’t do a “Hostel 3” after “Hostel 2.” He’s seemed more concerned with creating a brand and slapping his name on it than making new movies.
So there’s actually a lot riding on this unpreviewed-for–critics remake of a Charles Bronson/Michael Winner picture that is a cultural touchstone, its very title becoming shorthand for any story of a non-violent person turning violent and vengeful when “The Other” draws first blood.
Does Willis have a new franchise on his hands? Will Roth resuscitate his rep and break free of the horror trap? We shall see.