Set in the future, Thomas Malone (Bruce Willis) is currently in prison, serving a life sentence for a crime he was not involved in. Thomas is an ex-police officer and has a past resumé which makes him a human deadly weapon. Invited to be the prey in a dangerous, futuristic round of a game called Apex, Thomas has a second chance and opportunity for freedom, but it comes at a price. Apex is a game that includes one prey and several hunters, conducted on private grounds that can only be reached by teleportation. Thomas accepts the invitation and the six hunters equip and prepare for the hunt with excitement.
In this round, the hunters will consist of six wealthy and bored individuals who enjoy a good kill and desire to redeem a human trophy no matter the cost. The most dangerous hunter within the group is Dr Samuel Rainsford (Nel McDonough), who is bored of easy kills and wants to play a round of Apex with a far more dangerous prey. Right before the hunt begins, Thomas has the opportunity to speak to all the hunters via a futuristic communicator. He asks them one simple question, which results in unexpected consequences. Now, all, including the hunters, are slowly becoming prey.
I was excited by the plot of this film. The start of the film outlines a fight to the death with the character of Thomas (Bruce Willis) taking on six dangerous people. Sadly what the film outlines and what the film delivers differs dramatically. For the most part, Bruce Willis does very little on-screen other than dish out several one-liners, pull funny faces, run around a forest, or hide behind trees as he watches our six hunters continually make poor and unwise decisions over and over again.
Apex has been directed by Edward Drake, who lately has been well known for two things: making films with actor Bruce Willis (like his most recent film, Cosmic Sin, released in 2021). Like Cosmic Sin, I admired the director’s love for sci-fi and his attempts to use the famous action star as the lead. Drake does attempt to give movie lovers a sci-fi aspect that’s trying to be brainless, fun, and creative. When it comes to the visuals, I generally found myself appreciating the effects along with its general look and style, even if the vibes here are B-grade.
Those who have watched many Bruce Willis films will appreciate the many nods and sly references to some of the actor’s previous films, confirming that this movie isn’t to be taken too seriously. As for action… there isn’t much to see. More time is spent with the hunters than the prey, and the hunters would rather banter than hunt the main target. As characters, they are all unlikeable, and to put it nicely, they are the worst hunters I have ever seen in a film. They fail to sneak around quietly, talk to themselves while hunting, shooting at nothing, and the list goes on. I’m surprised to confess that Bruce Willis is the most likeable character, who, again, doesn’t do much to entertain here.
Overall, what begins as a promising action film quickly turns into a different and unexpected film. Apex is cheesy and brainless, but the film doesn’t hide this. It even makes several jabs about Bruce Willis’s career as an actor along the way. Those who enjoy Bruce Willis pulling sour facial expressions with random odd one-liners will find some levels of entertainment here. As for the rest of the characters, I can’t deny, they are painful to watch, and they might be the worst hunters I’ve ever seen in a film. The sci-fi element is thankfully a positive aspect, and I admired the director’s attempt at delivering a futuristic film once again.