Just a few years ago, it felt like Bruce Willis was heading into serious comeback territory: the “Red” franchise had proved a surprise hit, and he won some of the best reviews of his career for the one-two punch of “Looper” and “Moonrise Kingdom,” working with two of the most acclaimed directors around with Rian Johnson and Wes Anderson. But more recently, he’s had a tough run of it, his recent movies being barely-released cheapo actioners called things like “Precious Cargo,” “Extraction” and “Marauders,” that, without looking up, we’re almost certain co-starred 50 Cent.
He’s got Eli Roth’s “Death Wish” remake coming up, but could a comeback arrive sooner than that, after Willis borrows a move from another action star and takes revenge for a stolen pet? There’s a definite “John Wick” vibe to the plot of “Once Upon A Time In Venice,” which recently bowed its first trailer, and sees Willis as a PI who becomes embroiled in a plot after his dog is stolen and ends up in the hands of a drug-dealer (Jason Momoa).
Yes, the vibe is somewhat barely released cheapo actioner, but the tone seems a little different — half-Shane Black, half-post-“Tarantino” crime comedy. And it’s an atypically starry cast for this sort of thing, with not just Aquaman, but also John Goodman, Famke Janssen, and “Silicon Valley” star Thomas Middleditch in major roles. The bad news is, it’s from Robb and Mark Cullen, who wrote the script for the awful “Cop Out.”
Anyway, the full synopsis can be found below, and the movie will open on June 16th.
Steve Ford (Bruce Willis) is a down but not out L.A based Private Investigator whose professional and personal worlds collide after his loving pet Buddy is stolen by a notorious gang. A series of crazy circumstances find him doing the gang’s bidding, while being chased by two vengeful Samoan brothers, a loan shark’s goons, and a few other shady characters. They say a dog is a man’s best friend, and Steve shows how far a man will go to be reunited with him.