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Apex (2021) Review

Apex, filmed as Apex Predator but given a title change to avoid the taint of Apex Predators, is the third teaming of Bruce Willis, director Edward Drake, and writer Corey Large after Breach and Cosmic Sin. Despite that, I decided to watch it anyway. You can guess how well that ended.

Sometime in the near future ex-cop Thomas Malone (Bruce Willis, Out of Death, Survive the Game) is serving a life sentence. He’s offered his freedom by a representative of the Apex Corporation in return for appearing on their show.

What does he have to do? Simple, he just has to survive being hunted by a group of wealthy sportsmen, Bishop (Nels Lennarson, Cold Pursuit, Countdown), Rainsford (Neal McDonough, Monsters of Man, Justified), Lyle (Lochlyn Munro, Riverdale, Scary Movie), Ecka (Trevor Gretzky, Spiral, Mile 22), Carrion (Corey Large, Poker Night, Broil), and Jeza (Megan Peta Hill, Open Water 3: Cage Dive).

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Now if you’re getting Running Man style vibes from this you’re not the only one. But Apex doesn’t have nearly that kind of budget. It also doesn’t have the outrageous imagination of Turkey Shoot. Instead it’s billed as a remake of the Ice-T film Surviving the Game. They should have saved the title of Willis’ last film, Survive the Game, for this one.

Once the hunters got around to the hunt two things quickly became apparent. Firstly, being bloodthirsty psychopaths was far from the only mental issues they had. Secondly, Malone had the superpower of always being hidden nearby when people were discussing said issues so he could take advantage of them later. In fact, for skilled hunters it’s amazing how often they can be mere feet away from their prey and not notice him.

Not that he really has to worry, it seems the hunters on Apex Island don’t really care who they kill. They’re more than happy to knock each other off while Malone hides in the woods. Which makes sense since once again I’m sure Willis was only on set for a couple of days. Just shoot some footage of him standing in the trees and splice it in as needed.

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And that is all we see Willis do for most of Apex’s first hour. He hides in the trees, wanders abound while a ridiculously old timey score plays in the background. He also has a conversation with the hologram of Apex’s owner West ( Alexia Fast, The Ninth Passenger, Grace: The Possession) who informs him that the blackberries he’s eating are hallucinogenic because of radiation from the war. What war? Your guess is as good as mine.

Just like Midnight in the Switchgrass, Willis’ character is pretty much a non entity here. While he does appear throughout the film he only has some impact on its events at the very end. Which may be even worse since, as the protagonist, Malone is supposed to be an integral part of Apex’s plot. That’s some deceptive marketing even by the usual standards of these kinds of films.

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Unfortunately the main plot of Apex isn’t much more interesting. The kills are bland and pretty dull, there isn’t even an actual fight until after the hour mark. It’s just a bunch of unlikable assholes scheming and killing each other. I will admit the landmine going off worked as a jump scare, but that was about it.

In the end, Apex is basically one big rip off. The futuristic setting is just a couple shots of fancy looking aircraft and a transporter, a bad CGI cityscape and a few lines of dialogue. And Willis is barely in the film, let alone playing an action hero type role.

Apex will be released on November 12th in North America via RLJE Films. You can check their Facebook page for more details. Signature Entertainment will release it in the UK.

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Our Score

28 thoughts on “Apex (2021) Review”

  1. Apex must be one of B. Willis worst movie, I don’t understand why he signed up for this crap 👎👎👎

    1. From what I’ve read he made a deal with the production company behind all these films and he gets paid a million a film for a couple of days work.

      If they keep turning out as bad as this and Out of Death his name on the film will turn people off rather than be a draw.

    2. Congrats. You just created a new category of movies and actors.

      Welcome to the “C” list. Fuck.

  2. Almost all of his films in the last 10 years or so have been utter gash!
    I think Red was his last half decent effort!

    Should have retired gracefully but they are all at it from Nic Cage to John Cusack once good actors appearing in utter low budget crap that even Asylum films can beat into a cocked hat!

  3. The only interesting thing to note about this movie is that it was shot in my hometown of Victoria BC. Which you may know as a tourist / retirement town and I think that was the point. No one came here to do any work, that’s for sure. This was just a paid vacation for them.

    1. Fun fact, *almost* the entire film was shot in Canada. Bruce Willis’ stuff was shot in Bellingham, WA. Something about quarantine times and his short shoot, they didn’t want to wait the two weeks to cross the border. But I rented the production all of the prop guns you see him handle in the film! Including the SAW which has the ammo hanging out of it in one scene, so it couldn’t actually shoot lol

      1. I wonder if he was supposed to have more scenes with the rest of the cast but they cut them when crossing the border became an issue?

        They didn’t pay attention to anything else in the film, why would they pay attention to the ammo lol?

  4. Awwww this movie is just plain shite.. Very little to be upbeat about.. I was hoping he’d remove the red jacket to avoid being seen.. But no.. 0 out of 10.. Complete waste of time and effort

  5. He should hve walked away with his reputation from good old movies. This is utter horse shit. Cant believe i wasted my data on this

  6. For anyone that loved the cheesiness of surviving the game, this film has little clever tie ins that i enjoyed, if you’ve never seen or didn’t like the original then this movie might not be for you

    1. I’ve seen the original, although it was a while ago so maybe I missed them. But by changing the lead from someone who was a victim to a willing participant it really becomes an entirely different kind of film to me.

  7. OMG absolute crap crap crap!! We were waiting for it to get better as it went on but that just didn’t happen.
    Hysterically rubbish!!
    Mind you for a quick million I would turn up too!!!! Haha

  8. They literally didn’t need Willis’s character for 90% of this movie. They are supposed to be hunting Willis, but he wanders around the woods for 90% of the movie why these hunters kill each other. This may be the first movie to ever get negative numbers. Dont understand why these guys like Willis, Cage and Travolta take roles in these cheezy b rate movies with no plot, no actors that look like they were filmed in the mid 80’s. There is absolutely no upside, and judging by the production quality. I doubt that they could afford to pay Willis in anything but IHOP coupons. Sad thing is half the movies these days that are theater releases, are the straight to VHS blockbuster video B flicks.

  9. I’m 54 years old, so have grown up with Willis, Stallone and Shwarzenegger movies and loved (most of them).
    The Trailer I saw on YouTube looked good, so thought I’d give it a go. I should have just made do with the trailer, because minute after minute of watching this and waiting to see when it gets good, was just sheer torture.
    Very disappointed in Willis, for even agreeing to make this. Just retire and enjoy the rest of your life Sir.
    I liked the idea, but the direction, script and the awful acting from all involved should be seen by all newcomers to the industry and taken as a valuable lesson on how not to act.
    I’m actually shaking my head with pure disgust. Stay away from this film and go watch paint dry. It’d be more entertaining.

  10. I imagen the “writer” waking up late after a week-long bender, realising it was the day of the meeting to pitch his script. he thought to himself “professionals just rift”, Then thumb sucked an amount that seemed like alot of money.
    Bruce who was wearing rollerblades while seated in a wheel chair, pasted the meeting and popped in when he saw the writer/director/sandwich guy and remembered that he was owed some cash.
    A deal was made.

    Thank god the director has family and friends that all took a role, some brought their cellphones to help film, condiments were used for special effects and they all gave up their weekend to hang out with Bruce.

    I would have to flip a coin to determine if this was worse than pledge night, the one with the ghost/zombie hippie.

  11. It’s not quite a 0 but very low. We didn’t mind the low budget effects, but we did mind the director’s use of endlessly filming Bruce Willis stumbling around, in a red jacket, red jacket! For hunters who cannot find him. (By the way hes behind the tree..) That should have been cut … other actors , they did a good job.. we liked the story but I have to say the Irish accent? Ugh

  12. Ian Sedensky also had a scathing review for this one (well argumented too, as usual). Makes me wonder why these movies get made. I’m having a hard time imagining it’s easy money for them. Willis’ magnetizing endorsing days are way behind him by now, as must be crystal clear to anyone who’s even remotely following his more recent output. The thought that keeps popping up in my mind is that perhaps there’s an Uwe Boll type of tax scheme at play?

    1. “Apex” is like watching cellphone video of average H&R Block employees playing paintball while lightly jogging around 40 square feet of forest.” Ian did indeed nail it.

      I must admit I had the same thoughts when I reviewed one of his films, that nobody would care, but it’s stunning how many hits the reviews of his stuff get, even as the films get worse, Apex is the most read review on the site.

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