American films

First Kill film review: Bruce Willis plays bad cop in boring action thriller best seen on DVD or as download

Also starring Hayden Christiansen as a city slicker trying to toughen up his son on a hunting trip, First Kill is a functional action thriller that just about delivers what is expected, but struggles to provide any real excitement

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 May, 2018, 7:03am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 May, 2018, 7:03am

2/5 stars

The only interesting thing about First Kill is that Bruce Willis plays a bad cop. Although the movie has some touches of nastiness, including a child being threatened by a knife, there’s nothing controversial about it, and little to excite, either.

Hayden Christensen – Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars: Episode 2 and Episode 3 – plays Will, a city slicker who takes his son Danny (Ty Shelton) on a hunting trip to toughen him up so he can deal with some school bullies.

While tracking deer in a forest, Will and Danny are caught up in a shoot-out between two bank robbers. Danny is kidnapped by a felon and when Will tries to get him back he is trailed by Howell (Willis) – a cop who may not be on the right side of the law.

Willis, in his third actioner for director Steven C. Miller (after 2015’s Extraction and 2016’s Marauders), doesn’t get much screen time, and doesn’t bother to get to grips with the nuances of his equivocal character – Howell is unappealing and mean throughout.

The best scenes are between young Ty Shelton and English actor Gethin Anthony, who plays Levi, his kidnapper. While their relationship follows an obvious path, Levi’s school-of-life lessons to young Danny are sensitively handled.

Unfortunately, Danny’s father seems to think the best way for the child to solve his problems is to learn how to shoot things. The story trundles along with no surprises until it reaches a predictable conclusion.

Revenge film review: Matilda Lutz rape-revenge thriller is a subversive horror gem

Action buffs will find it an acceptable watch on VOD or DVD, but it’s too basic to merit a visit to the cinema.

First Kill opens on May 10

Want more articles like this? Follow SCMP Film on Facebook