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Paradise City  review by Bobby Blakey

Director Chuck Russell has some great films under his belt including A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, The Mask, The Scorpion King and Eraser. His latest film Paradise City has him bringing icons John Travolta and Bruce Willis together again for the first time since they starred in Pulp Fiction back in 1994. The film co-stars Blake Jenner, Praya Lundberg, Stephen Dorff, and Branscombe Richmond, but does it offer anything to do justice to the talent and this directors great filmography or will it not be the paradise you hoped for?

Paradise City follows bounty hunter Ian Swan who is shot and presumed dead after disappearing in Maui waters, leading Swan’s son, Ryan, his ex-partner, and a local detective to set out to find his killers. After being threatened by a ruthless power broker, it appears Ryan and his team are out of options — until an excursion to the closely guarded island community of Paradise City unites them with an unforeseen ally.

These days I have no delusion of these films that get the straight to home release, but would be lying if I didn’t admit that I am always hoping to find that gem especially with a film like this with Willis and Travolta. As we know Willis is struggling with his health issues that affects his memory and in turn has affected his acting which is why he announced his retirement yet still keeps churning them out. This is another of those films where Willis does what he can, but you can see that this just isn’t the action star we all loved.

This film is promoting the star power of Travolta and Willis and they ae both here as major parts of the story, but like with a lot of these films they are not

leading the charge. The story is simple enough and something we have seen a thousand times over, but could have still worked great but just falls flat. The entire thing felt more like a Lifetime movie if they tried their hand at an action flick with some strange decisions and off performances. I love Stephen Dorff and he seems to be trying his best to get this film somewhere, but he isn’t able to really save it.

The action is average and forgettable that ends up making the entire film just forgettable which makes me all the more sad with the star power involved. Knowing this could be one of if not the last film from Willis makes me sad seeing his legacy come to this, but at the same time actors aren’t always to blame with the way the finished product comes out.

Decide for yourself and check out Paradise City available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Lionsgate.

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