film reel image

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Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Apex 2021 * * 1/2 Stars


"I'm bacon and eggs on Sunday morning." Those are the words of the Bruce Willis character, Thomas Malone. Somewhere a screenwriter is saying with glee, "yeah I nailed that one". 

Anyway 2021's Apex is an action thriller set in the future. The holograms and daylight-ed Blade Runner vibe gave it away. Apex is also an action thriller a la natural androcide. The main lead uses his wits and smarts to just let every man (or woman) kill each other off. 

So is Apex better than most of the crap Bruce Willis has been churning out for the past 8-9 years? Surprisingly yes. And is Apex decent despite Willis still not being able to act effectively anymore? Again surprisingly yes. 

Apex for all intensive purposes, is something else. It's the ultimate testosterone-filled, Mexican standoff. The cast (minus AARP-hinged Willis) is actually pretty good. Their mano a mano stature is highlighted by the lucid, antagonistic performance of actor Neil McDonough. He's cold, white as clear, and well, not crazy (so he says). 

Apex's ending is probably the only real lowlight of the film. You wonder how the Willis persona escapes an exploding house (I guess he was a hologram too). You also wonder how Bruce's Malone evades a bunch of savages wearing a red jacket in a forest (I mean seriously, WTF). 

Directed by Edward Drake (Cosmic Sin, Broil) and equally dialogue-driven as it is nastily violent, Apex is akin to stuff like 1994's Surviving the Game and The Hunt. I dug the banter between the marksmen who are basically screw loose and despise each other. I also dug the musical score by Hugh Wielenga that's equal parts techno, fermented, and well, creepy. 

Apex is about five, rich snobbish hunters who pay to hunt down a former cop who doesn't know how to die (Bruce Willis in monosyllabic mode). Willis doesn't do much but his stunt double sure does (shocker). Apex by definition, means high point. Well Apex the movie is a "high point" considering what low expectations I had for it.  

Written by Jesse Burleson

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