by Adam Riske and Rob DiCristino
Rob: Welcome back to Reserved Seating. I’m Rob DiCristino.
Adam: And I’m Adam Riske.
Adam: I missed the Noah’s Ark bits. Either the storytelling was subtle or I was on my phone.
Rob: The long and short of it is this: Breach is not the worst DTV Bruce Willis actioner I’ve ever seen. Bruno is present and awake through most of it, even flashing a little emotional depth from time to time. It’s Jane playing the standard DTV Willis role, actually: He has about two scenes and probably worked half a day. Other than that, Breach is pretty bland. It’s two measures of Aliens, one of Event Horizon, a dash of Snowpiercer, shaken and poured into a chilled glass of Dawn of the Dead. My major complaint is that it feels like the filmmakers may have strived for something real had they not been saddled with the Willis and Jane of it all. Their salaries likely ate up much of a budget that would have been better spent elsewhere.
Adam, what did you think of Breach?
Rob: I agree, and I think the emotional depth I was referring to came in a scene in which he admits to not being the bruiser that Noah thinks he is. He actually whispers and has a bit of nuance for half a second, which somehow felt like a lot more than he’s given lately.
Adam: I found the Bruce Willis hologram that pops up throughout the movie to irritate/help Cody Kearsley to be somewhat amusing as a visual, so there’s that. I think my favorite part of Breach is the creature effects at the end. It’s not revelatory but the monster is kind of cool looking and I wish there was more of that throughout the film, as opposed to crew members turned into bile spewing zombies.
You’ve seen more Willis DTV than I have. Was he ever happy or invested in any of these movies? Air Strike, a movie I still can’t believe we actually watched. It felt like he was at least trying in Once Upon a Time in Venice, a rare lead performance, and one in which he seems to be playing around with his persona. Most of his work falls into the Trauma Center range, though: He has one or two dramatic scenes and then flashes a gun for a bit while scowling. It’s all just paycheck work. I have to imagine he’s still getting quality scripts, but I honestly don’t think he’s interested in stretching himself as an actor enough to explore anything new. He’s comfy just riding out the rest of his career on autopilot.
Here’s a question: What current A-lister do you think will eventually transition to a quality DTV career?
Adam: That’s a phenomenal question. Before Bad Boys for Life was a hit, I thought Will Smith was likely to go this route eventually. Part of the formula is the actor seems like they still want to be the lead of their films while Hollywood might not see them as bankable in that role any longer. A few I think could be next are Kate Beckinsale, Milla Jovovich, Halle Berry, Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, and Liam Neeson. There are two I’d be the most interested in as DTV stars: Edward Norton and Russell Crowe. I think those guys would be more akin to Nicolas Cage and John Travolta, where they still bring a lot of effort to their projects. I want Patrick to answer this question in the comments.
What about you?
Anything else on Breach?
Adam: Yes. I want to recommend people watch 2007’s Breach, starring Chris Cooper and Ryan Phillippe. It’s a fantastic thriller directed by Billy Ray, who previously made the even better Shattered Glass. Everyone should also watch Shattered Glass.
As for me, I’ll be watching Russell Crowe movies the rest of the day. I’m looking at you, A Good Year. Thanks for the inspiration.
Rob: Our Bomb Squad series returns next week with Adam’s pick: 2006’s Poseidon. Until next time…
Adam: These seats are reserved.