We all know and have been saddened as we learned about Bruce Willis and the aphasia that has battered his ability to speak, remember lines or act. What hasn’t been explained is why his family keeps trotting him out there to make awful appearances in D-movie after D-movie, films that are beneath him and cannot possibly pay enough to be worth the cost in effort and to his good name.
Are their finances that dire? Is it therapeutic to put him in a familiar, supportive environment like a movie set making garbage like “Corrective Measures,” one film after another in a race against his diminishing capacities?
Anybody following his career knows he’s been in the doghouse, doing under-financed dogs save for the occasional supporting turn in an “Expendables” sequel, for over a dozen years. We can ponder how long ago the diagnosis was made and how much money he or those counseling him expected to put away making scores of instantly awful crap like “Measures.”
Because make no mistake, this movie is terrible right out of the gate, and execrable by the time Willis makes his belated bow — 23 minutes in.
It’s a stupidly-conceived, ineptly-scripted post-apocalyptic tale of super-powered super-criminals locked away in a Supermax prison presided over by hipster “overseer” Michael Rooker, running his fiefdom and appearing on TV to brag about how “Nuttin’s gettin’ outta here, NUTTIN1” while sporting a 1950s hep cat straw hat.
Willis plays Julius Loeb, “The Lobe,” and his superpower — powers are “nullified” inside the prison walls — is too laughable to give away.
There’s a gigantic religious fanatic psychopath named Payback (Dan Payne), a seemingly timid “empath” we’re supposed to root for (Brennan Mejia) and “The Conductor,” an “explainer” character who gives us loads of exposition as to the hows, whys and history of San Tiburon Prison and how the most dangerous of the dangerous are kept there. He’s played by Tom Cavanagh, whom I remember from “Scrubs.”
A supervillain prison movie with monsters, epic brawls and blood. Yay.
Here’s what it might be remembered for, the last time Bruce Willis tells a joke onscreen.
“You know how to make Holy Water? You boil the hell out of it!”
This is just sad. Hire the guy a new investment counselor, or let his family go out and get real jobs and support themselves and give Bruce a break. Even if this is therapeutic, it’s no way to be remembered.
Rating: TV-MA, graphic violence, profanity
Cast: Bruce Willis, Brennan Mejia, Hayley Sales, Dan Payne, Tom Cavanagh, Kat Ruston and Michael Rooker.
Credits: Scripted and directed by Sean Patrick O’Reilly. A Tubi release.
Running time: 1:46