Its 9:54 pm
As I was wrapping up our last review,the cheetah was feeling a bit zoomie and so he decided romp up and down the stairs. I could see he was craving some action and so when I showed him the cover of “Trauma Center”,I thought he would be pretty amped up. I mean,how can you go wrong with a direct to DVD action movie starring Bruce Willis,right?? You know,”Die Hard” and “Die Hard 2” Bruce Willis!! The cheetah’s tail went straight up and he asks “Is Trauma Center like those movies”? I said “Oh yeah!! This is going to be wall-to-wall Bruce! You’re going to love it!!”
In San Juan,Puerto Rico we see two big guys in a small room,they are a pair of killers and they are looking for a memory card. Tull (Texas Battle) breaks into a cabinet drawer to retrieve the card and ignoring a large stack of cash as does his partner,Pierce (Tito Ortiz). There is a dead man on the floor that had the misfortune of meeting our two baddies. Tull and Pierce deduce that they are being set up by the cops and so using the dead’s man phone,set up a new meet to see who is exactly coming for them.
Meanwhile Madison Taylor (Nicky Whelan) is a waitress in a small diner,despite customers being rude to her,she keeps her cool while also keeping her eye on her little sister,16 year old Emily. The girls’s mother has recently passed away and Madison is doing her best to maintain a home for them despite Emily’s teen dramatics.
When a sudden asthma attack hits Emily,Madison discovers that Emily has been leaving it at home due to peer pressure. This means a 3rd trip to the local ER that month alone and the doctor is getting concerned.
Next we meet Lt. Steve Wakes (Bruce Willis) who is on his way to see a informant when his partner tells him that something is fishy as there is new meeting being set up and he wants Wakes to roll with him. Wakes declines,he has worked a double but he isgoing to check in on his informant.
Madison is sitting with Emily in her hospital room,her little sister wants Madison to stay as Emily is going to be there overnight. Madison wants to but she has to return to work.
That night,Wakes discovers his CI is dead and figures out his partner is going to be ambushed,he tries to warn him but Tull and Pierce have beat him to the punch and have mortsally wounded him and he is staggering down a alley way where he stumbles across Madison was is taking out the trash. In trying to help the wounded man,Madison is shot but before Tull and Pierce can finish her off,Wakes arrives just in time.
Madison is taken to the same hospital her sister is at where she is told she’ll have to wait 1-2 days to have the bullet removed since its just below her skin.
Wakes then interviews her and says she is a material witness and also a potential target,so he arranges her to be housed on a completely empty floor and assigns one rookie cop to protect her while he investigates his partner’s death.
Tull and Pierce know they are a in a quandry,if the bullet is recovered from Madison,they may be able to trace it back to them….so they have to get it back before that happens. It will be easy for them because well,they have badges.
When they discover Madison is isolated,Tull and Pierce figure they have it made…..and while Wakes is out trailing for a pair of killers,little does he know,he himself is being tracked. Things don’t look very promising on what is going to be a very long night…..
This is a hard movie to review because quite honestly,its very poorly written. Bruce Willis is on auto-pilot mode,the no budget is so evident and the plot holes are big enough to drive a armored disvison through. It would be so easy to lump it under “Seattle Superstorm” bad and move on.
But here is the thing,I knew all of this before I bought “Trauma Center”. I knew it would be hard pressed to be any good and so you’re wondering why I did indeed buy it.
Pretty simple…..I bought it to watch Nicky Whelan,Texas Battle and Tito Ortiz,three performers who work very hard no matter what. That is still the case here,watching the cat and mouse game between Madison and the two corrupt cops that takes up most of this film is very suspenseful and while the rest of the film is terrible,director Matt Eskandari did do a fine job in directing the hunting scenes.
I liked the bad guy team of Ortiz and Battle,I found myself wishing for a little more give and take between the two,some humor would have been a nice touch. And a little backstory would have helped as well,showing us why two good cops went rogue allows the viewer to connect with them a bit more. The chemistry between Ortiz and Battle is solid and well played.
But this is Whelan’s movie…her Madison is a very interesting character. While the only back story we get is that the mom has died,Madison is no shrinking violet. This is established early on when she handles a rude customer with class and diginty instead of taking his head off. At the hospital,once she is aware of what is going on,she takes charge of her own situation and takes on two hardened killers in a realistic manner. Whelan is one of Hollywood’s most beautiful actresses but she isn’t afraid to get dirty or bloody. There is a scene where Madison has to take care of her wound and in watching it,you wonder just where did she learn that,it certain wasn’t taught in waitressing school.
I wish they would have taken Willis out of the film and used the budget for a more dedicated actor,an extra 100k MAY have saved “Trauma Center” and elevated it a little more. Whelan,Battle and Ortiz deserved a better film.
“Trauma Center” is rated “R” and has a very short run time of 80 minutes.
It has no special features.
The cheetah and I gave Nicky,Texas and Tito a thumbs up and the rest of the film we self distancing ourselves from.
What have you been watching during our self isolation? Drop a comment below.