Written for RAF News July 2021
Titled like a 90s Steven Seagal movie, Out of Death actually stars Bruce Willis (albeit fleetingly) as a retired Philadelphia cop who is out on a spiritual stroll in the woods when he stumbles upon a young woman being held at gunpoint by police.
Shannon (Jamie King) had, moments before, overseen a drug deal turned violent whilst out on a soul cleansing ramble herself, and now finds herself the only witness to their crime. A loose end to be tied up, lest an ageing action star should drop by, channeling what’s left of his inner John Maclane.
On a tight shooting schedule, made tighter by Covid restrictions, Willis actually shot all of his scenes in one day. This is impressive but believable as he barely features in the film at all, appearing more as a spirit animal to guide Shannon along the way.
Split into chapters, with a couple of time jumps and other borrowed directorial signatures, you could think that the film is trying to emulate something by Tarantino, before it gives up and nosedives into the most mundane cat and mouse chase. Emotion is signposted and exposition is heaped on top, as corrupt Sheriff Hank Rivers (Michael Sirow) brings a Kevin Spacey energy to his villainy, trying to track down all of those involved, aiming to bury all leads that could threaten his run for Mayor.
As low budget and generic as its title might suggest, if you’ve come for Bruce you’re best off just looking at the poster, or watching any of his other direct-to-streaming productions of recent years.