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Review: Frank Grillo, Bruce Willis headline standard issue actioner ‘Reprisal'

Review: Frank Grillo, Bruce Willis headline standard issue actioner ‘Reprisal'
Olivia Culpo and Frank Grillo in the movie "Reprisal." (Lionsgate Premiere)

Cast Frank Grillo, Bruce Willis and Johnathon Schaech in a bank heist film and it’ll essentially write itself, right? One only wishes that writer Bryce Hammons had put a bit more effort into “Reprisal," a strictly routine B-movie.

This is the third film on which director Brian A. Miller has worked with Willis, part of a string of low-rent movies starring aging action stars that Miller has made for Lionsgate Premiere, and they’re all starting to blend together, almost totally indistinguishable from one another.

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Grillo stars as Jacob, a family man and bank security chief whose bank is robbed by career thief Gabriel (Schaech). Grillo enlists his neighbor (Willis), a retired police investigator, to track down the culprit, and they study his methods and patterns to follow him to his next heist.

Films like these rely on stereotypes. Grillo is his usual grizzled, lone-wolf hero, while Wills speaks in a bizarre, strained accent that sounds like a bad Brando imitation. Schaech is a slick villain but not given much to do. Naturally, Jacob’s wife is played by Olivia Culpo, 27 years Grillo’s junior, who spends the movie yelling about her daughter’s diabetes.

“Reprisal” is a standard-issue story of vigilante heroics; there isn’t any any suspense or tension to speak of, as we know who the culprit is, and we simply watch the pair predictably track him down, culminating with a relentless chase scene. All in all, just another boring genre exercise.

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‘Reprisal’

Rated: R, for violence and language

Running time: 1 hour, 29 minutes

Playing: Starts Aug. 31, Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills

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