We’ve been somewhat disappointed in Bruce Willis’ projects in recent years. Will ‘Once Upon a Time in Venice‘ be a return to form or not?
There’s been very little publicity about Bruce Willis’ next project, Once Upon a Time in Venice, due for release later this month in both the US and UK. That in itself is unusual for two reasons. Firstly, just about any Bruce Willis film usually gets a barrel load of publicity even if the quality of such product in recent years hasn’t quite lived up to the heyday of the Die Hard adventurer. (Seriously, even we haven’t seen half of the Willis movies of the last few years as they’ve made such little impact) . But the second reason to wonder why ‘Venice’ isn’t on the radar is that the film’s trailers suggest that this could be a genuinely madcap return to some kind of guilty-pleasure form – the crazy, trouble-magnet kind of persona that Willis has proven he can do in his sleep.
The explanation for the lack of hype could be echoed by its limited release and almost immediate jump to VOD (video-on-demand) hinting that there isn’t a lot of faith in the project. However the trailer reminds us of a bizarre cross between Seven Psychopaths and last year’s comedic Keanu. The story features a Los Angeles-based private detective named Steve Ford (Willis) who tries to retrieve his stolen dog from a gang. However, the gang’s drug lord Spider (Jason Momoa, currently filming Justice League) forces the detective to do some ‘jobs’ before getting the dog back.
The film is written and directed by Mark and Robb Cullen, responsible for Willis’ 2010 film Cop Out. The cast also boasts the likes of Famke Janssen, John Goodman, Thomas Middleditch, Adam Goldberg, Elizabeth Rohm and Stephaine Sigman.
It’s hard to tell if the film has ‘legs’ but it looks like a good enough romp to remind us that Willis doesn’t always take himself too seriously…