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Review: Not even Bruce Willis can make ‘Trauma Center’ more than a ‘Die Hard’ wannabe

Bruce Willis, back, and Nicky Whelan in a scene from “Trauma Center.”
Bruce Willis, back, and Nicky Whelan in a scene from “Trauma Center.”
(Laura T Magruder/Lionsgate)

Although Bruce Willis only appears in a few scenes in “Trauma Center,” his presence looms large over this small-scale thriller, which is essentially “Die Hard” in a hospital. Nicky Whelan gives a Willis-worthy performance as Madison, an innocent bystander who witnesses a murder committed by rogue cops and is soon being stalked around an abandoned hospital ward by men who need her eliminated.

Willis pops up periodically as a policeman trying — and mostly failing — to keep Madison safe. But he ultimately proves to be a distraction from the scenes in “Trauma Center” that work best, in which the heroine tries to make use of the scant resources of an under-stocked medical facility to beat the bad guys. There aren’t enough of these moments. The limited location here appears to have been strictly a cost-saving measure, not an opportunity to get creative.

“Trauma Center”
Rating: Rated R for violence and language

Running time: 1 hour, 26 minutes

Playing: Laemmle Glendale, Glendale; also available on VOD

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