Bruce Wills is a great actor and action star with some phenomenal films in his filmography. Pulp Fiction, Die Hard, 12 Monkeys, The Sixth Sense are just a few of the classics that Willis has starred in over the last 30 years. Sadly, in recent years he appears to have gotten lazy, willing to take a paycheck (usually $1 million per day) to star in subpar actioners. Vice is one such film, a dirt cheap sci-fi actioner with a budget that wouldn’t have paid for the catering on Armageddon (once Willis has taken his cut of course). It co-stars Thomas Jane, another good actor who is forced to slum it in this straight to DVD sci-fi shocker directed by Brian A. Miller.
Willis is Julian Michaels, a business who owns a private resort littered with robots, a place where humans can do whatever they want without any consequences. Thomas Jane is Roy, a badass matchstick chewing cop intent on shutting down Michaels’ pleasuredome. It looks like Roy gets his chance when Kelly (Ambyr Childers) goes haywire and goes off reservation. Micheals tries to exterminate her, while Roy wants to help. It’s doubtful you’ll care by the time this inane B-movie reaches its climax.
I can usually throw out a few hundred words on why you should watch any movie. I’m having difficulty… because Vice is so bad. Thomas Jane attempts to improve the material but the part is so thinly sketched that he’s a caricature and not a character. Meanwhile, Willis doesn’t seem to care and it’s doubtful he even read the script (courtesy of Andrew Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore). He must have shot his scenes in a couple of days, spitting out his dialogue with the contempt it deserves.
Is there anything to recommend in Vice? Sadly no. I’d normally say you should watch it if you’re a fan of the film’s stars – but I can’t do that here. If you like Thomas Jane you’ll be annoyed that he’s starring in something so unworthy of his action credentials. If you’re a fan of Bruce Willis you’ll be saddened and angered at how little he seems to care these days.
Vice comes with a commentary from director Brian A. Miller and Ambyr Childers and Bryan Greenberg. You also get a 12 minute making of where Thomas Jane says of Willis, ‘no acting required’. You’re telling me.