Combustible Celluloid Review - Detective Knight: Redemption (2022), Edward Drake, Corey Large, Edward Drake, Bruce Willis, Paul Johansson, Miranda Edwards, Beau Mirchoff, Lochlyn Munro, Corey Large, John Cassini
Combustible Celluloid
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With: Bruce Willis, Paul Johansson, Miranda Edwards, Beau Mirchoff, Lochlyn Munro, Corey Large, John Cassini
Written by: Edward Drake, Corey Large
Directed by: Edward Drake
MPAA Rating: R for violence, language throughout and a sexual reference
Running Time: 98
Date: 12/09/2022

Detective Knight: Redemption (2022)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Knight Lights

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The second movie in Bruce Willis's farewell action trilogy features even less of its star player this time, and while the tricks and cheats to film around him sometimes work, they too often do not.

James Knight (Bruce Willis), Casey Rhodes (Beau Mirchoff), and Mercer (Corey Large) are in prison after their exploits in the previous movie. They meet Father Conlan (Paul Johansson), who explains that they can find freedom if they look within their hearts. Meanwhile, a maniac called "The Christmas Bomber" (in a bloody Santa mask) is bombing banks all over New York City.

Police Captain Anna Shea (Miranda Edwards) is determined to get to the bottom of it. She gets some most unexpected help when a prison break occurs. Casey and Mercer find themselves unwittingly joining the Christmas Bomber's team, while Knight — who stayed put rather than escaping when he had the chance — agrees to work with Captain Shea to bring down the bomber.

Detective Knight: Redemption mainly relies on two characters from Detective Knight: Rogue, the former athletes-turned-robbers Casey and Mercer. Somehow Mercer appears just fine after being lethally shot near the end of the last movie, although that probably has something to do with the fact that actor Corey Large is also this movie's co-writer. (He wrote himself back to life.) Happily, we also get a good, new character in Captain Shea, a strong Black woman (and a single mom to boot). And Paul Johansson's fire-and-brimstone Conlan is actually a not-too-shabby villain.

For his few scenes, Willis often listens stoically as others talk to him, and then he goes out to "do his thing" for most of the movie's middle section; no one knows where he is or what he's doing, and we don't see much of him, but he comes back with clues. (The mayor knows something!)

Honestly, the story in Detective Knight: Redemption isn't too bad, and the movie has fun with its Christmastime setting, but once again, director and co-writer Edward Drake (let's not forget he made Cosmic Sin) is simply too limited in either budget or skill or both, and is certainly hamstrung by the need to work around Willis's real-life aphasia. Every time the movie starts to get good for a second, some niggling flaw in the fabric ruins it. For a good Willis Christmas movie, I think we all know where to look instead.

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