Deadlock (2021) Movie Review
Deadlock is a 2021 action thriller about mercenaries that seize an energy plant and hold everyone hostage.’
Ron Whitlock (Bruce Willis) is a wanted criminal leading a team of mercenaries on a mission of vengeance. Convinced that the government is working against them, the merciless group brutally seizes an energy plant and holds everyone inside hostage.
With a nearby town on the brink of massive flooding and destruction, it’s up to retired elite army ranger Mack Karr (Patrick Muldoon) to save thousands of innocent lives before it’s too late…
“My biggest gripe is how awful the gun effects are. I know we might see more and more CG gun effects in the future, but at least make them look almost-kinda-sorta real […] Honestly, Deadlock might be more entertaining than A Good Day to Die Hard […] I’m not saying Deadlock is a good or even above-average action movie, but damn I can’t believe I found it watchable.”
Because the fates of everyone living downstream from the dam aren’t enough, Cohen and Cannon spice Deadlock’s plot up with a pregnant plant employee (Kelcey Rose) and have a busload of school kids touring the plant as well.
Having stacked the hostage list with clichés, Deadlock then proceeds to reintroduce Mack who was off welding away from the main building. It also gives him a partner, Tommy (Douglas S. Matthews, Isle of the Dead, Enter the Dangerous Mind), a security guard hiding in the bathroom because he wasn’t going to fight these guys over “a white man’s dam”.
If you guess that from here these two become bulletproof, running across wide swaths of open ground while picking off bad guys without getting a scratch, congratulations you’ve seen as many shitty action movies as I have. And, there’s no way around it, Deadlock is a shitty movie.
The action scenes are plentiful, I’ll give Deadlock that. But they’re directed so poorly there’s no excitement to them. And that’s on top of the script’s total disregard for reality. At one point Mack and Tommy are crawling around some steel platforms while the bad guys blaze away at them. Apparently in the world of Deadlock ricochets don’t exist and they get away without a scratch.
What we do get are convenient plot twists like the pregnant woman being married to the cop who shot Ron’s son. And Mack hates him for giving him a speeding ticket. Mack also hates his ex-wife Sophia (Ava Paloma, The Scrapper) who works at the plant as well.
When Officer Fullbright (Chris Cleveland, Chinese Speaking Vampires, White Elephant) gets to the plant, Deadlock suddenly throws a totally out of nowhere game-changer at the viewer. And I do mean out of nowhere. It’s an infuriatingly massive cheat that would have ruined Deadlock if it didn’t already suck. Doubly infuriating because if they had run with it from the start the plot could actually have been more interesting. I’m guessing the idea hit them halfway through writing the script and they couldn’t be bothered doing rewrites.
It’s too bad because the idea of a Die Hard rip-off with Willis as the villain is a pretty neat idea. It’s at least as creative as anything else he’s done in the past few years. Unfortunately, his performance is on par with the rest of the film and nowhere near Alan Rickman’s masterful performance as Hans Gruber.