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Review: Vice

Vice
01.11.2015
4 10
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PLOT: Entrepreneur Julian Michaels (Bruce Willis) owns an urban resort called “Vice” where guests are work out their worst urges on the human-like android inhabitants, none of whom realize they aren't human, and have their memories wiped every time they're killed. However, one android, K.E.L.L.Y (Ambyr Childers) becomes self-aware and teams up with a Vice-hating cop (Thomas Jane) to take the resort down once and for all.

REVIEW: It's crazy that low-budget action movies which would have likely starred people like Jeff Wincott or Lorenzo Lamas in the heyday of video are now attracting full-on movie stars. Mostly produced by Emmett-Furla (who've occasional dabbled in legit movies like LONE SURVIVOR) one assumes that these are made mostly for the foreign market or VOD, where the presence of a Bruce Willis and Thomas Jane wielding a gun on the poster might have you think you're watching a full-on star vehicle for the two.

Rather, VICE is familiar territory for Willis, who likely shows up on set for a day or two, collects a pretty penny, and moves on. His role in VICE is no different than his parts in THE PRINCE, FIRE WITH FIRE, or the rest of the crap he's reduced himself to appearing in nowadays. Despite his billing, Willis is barely in VICE and I'd be shocked if he worked on the movie for more than a day, with his presence constricted to one or two sets. Willis plays the marginal bad guy, who sends his henchmen out (including DTV mainstay Johnathon Schaech) to catch our heroine, played by the young and pretty Ambyr Childers.

vice ambyr childers

The premise itself isn't so bad, even if it's awfully familiar to anyone who's seen WESTWORLD. The catch here is that the resort (which feels like it could never exist in the real world) attracts psychopaths en masse, and it's easy to sympathize with Childers, who realizes she's literally been used as a plaything for psychos here entire life. This could have resulted in a cool little revenge flick, but alas the budget doesn't seem to allow that so all we get are a few really low-rent action scenes and a lot of boring exposition.

vice thomas jane

As per his custom, Willis sleepwalks through his part (did her ever do more than a take or two?) and is clearly just there for a paycheck. The best thing about the movie is Thomas Jane, but sadly rather than playing a full-lead (as expected by the billing) he only shows up now and then. Other than Childers' android, he's the most interesting guy in the film, being a cop he despises a resort that allows perverts and sadists to act out their worst urges. Sadly, his time on the set also seems to have been limited, although unlike Willis he actually seems to be trying to engage with the material. With a bigger budget and Jane as a second lead VICE might have had real potential (when is someone going to give Jane a shot on a real, quality action flick?).

Instead, much of the screen time goes to Bryan Greenberg as a character with murky motivations who serves to give out most of the exposition before being abruptly dispatched once Jane comes back into the picture (the last fifteen minutes). With a solid re-write giving Jane a bigger part and a much larger budget VICE could have been something. Rather, it's a totally disposable actioner not all that different from the other half-dozen bargain basement action movies guys like Willis or John Cusack have shown up in the last couple of years. Viewers are probably better off waiting for the new WESTWORLD HBO series, which will likely tackle a lot of the same ground but much more successfully.

Source: JoBlo.com

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4:29PM on 01/12/2015

I'm Confused

Cusack and Willis were in The Prince, Cusack and Jane were in Drive Hard, now Jane and Willis are in Vice. Too many damn DTVs to keep up with. I'm losing track.
Cusack and Willis were in The Prince, Cusack and Jane were in Drive Hard, now Jane and Willis are in Vice. Too many damn DTVs to keep up with. I'm losing track.
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6:11AM on 01/12/2015
Well, thereś one good thing about Willis current state: just a couple of years and he will be available for private birthday parties, alongside Cusack, Godding Jr. and Adrian Brody. ;-)
Well, thereś one good thing about Willis current state: just a couple of years and he will be available for private birthday parties, alongside Cusack, Godding Jr. and Adrian Brody. ;-)
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4:56AM on 01/12/2015

Typical Bruce Willis

Shows up for like one day as long as the check clears. It's funny how in most of his recent movies, his scenes are always in one location and he wears only one outfit the entire movie. He turned down $3M for 4 days of work on Expendables 3 because he wanted $4M! Lazy, selfish, and a jerk in person.
Shows up for like one day as long as the check clears. It's funny how in most of his recent movies, his scenes are always in one location and he wears only one outfit the entire movie. He turned down $3M for 4 days of work on Expendables 3 because he wanted $4M! Lazy, selfish, and a jerk in person.
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1:22AM on 01/12/2015
People like the author of this review better get use to bigger stars doing DTV films. With films like The Interview being massive hits, and the studios keeping a larger portion of that money, they will only grow with the technology.
People like the author of this review better get use to bigger stars doing DTV films. With films like The Interview being massive hits, and the studios keeping a larger portion of that money, they will only grow with the technology.
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3:52PM on 01/12/2015
That's really beside the point. It's that the movies Willis and Cusack are doing aren't very good. They're genre filler that capitalizes on a name so people will even bother watching them.
That's really beside the point. It's that the movies Willis and Cusack are doing aren't very good. They're genre filler that capitalizes on a name so people will even bother watching them.
12:00AM on 01/12/2015
What the hell has happened to Thomas Jane and Bruce Willis' careers??
What the hell has happened to Thomas Jane and Bruce Willis' careers??
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8:24AM on 01/12/2015
Bruce got a huge E.G.O transplant, which went very well. I do not know what happened with Thomas ; maybe he needs another "Punisher".
Bruce got a huge E.G.O transplant, which went very well. I do not know what happened with Thomas ; maybe he needs another "Punisher".
11:54AM on 01/12/2015
Netflix needs to do a Punisher series and get Jane for them
Netflix needs to do a Punisher series and get Jane for them
4:00PM on 01/12/2015
Thomas Jane never really had that big crossover role. At this point I think he's just struggling to stay working. Should get himself another TV show.

Willis, yeah, I'd say ego, and people only want to see him in action movies. I seem to recall after his Expendables debacle he came out saying he was tired of doing those movies. So now he's not even trying anymore.
Thomas Jane never really had that big crossover role. At this point I think he's just struggling to stay working. Should get himself another TV show.

Willis, yeah, I'd say ego, and people only want to see him in action movies. I seem to recall after his Expendables debacle he came out saying he was tired of doing those movies. So now he's not even trying anymore.
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