Fortress: Sniper’s Eye isn’t the only new Bruce Willis film to come out this weekend. Corrective Measures, an odd mix of action, prison, science fiction and monster movies makes its debut as well. The reason you may not have heard of it is, that it’s another Tubi Original. Short of working for Rene Perez, that’s the most pathetic way for Willis to end his career I can think of.
Corrective Measures opens with a parking garage execution gone wrong as a band of goons led by what appears to be a werewolf are wiped out by the vigilante known as Payback (Dan Payne, Devil in the Dark, Aliens Ate My Homework) just so he can have the pleasure of killing their intended victim himself before the cops arrest him. He’s sent to prison, but not just any prison, he’s going to San Tiburon which seems to be this world’s answer to the MCU’s Vault. Only it’s run by a private company and Warden Devlin (Michael Rooker, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, The Belko Experiment) is as corrupt as any of the inmates.
News clips under the credits and an interview with Warden, or Overseer as he prefers to be called, Devlin brings the viewer up to speed on Corrective Measures’ world and San Tiburon itself. The interview also serves as an introduction to Julius “The Lobe” Loeb (Bruce Willis, Die Hard, A Day to Die) the prison’s most notorious inmate.
Corrective Measures is the first live-action feature for director Sean Patrick O’Reilly after several animated ones including Panda vs. Aliens and Howard Lovecraft and the Kingdom of Madness. O’Reilly also wrote the script, based on a graphic novel by Grant Chastain. I can’t speak for the source material, but the film’s opening act is mostly a bland rehash of prison film cliches with some “mutants” in off-the-shelf Halloween masks added to the mix. “Depowering agents” nullify the inmates’ superpowers so for most of the film they don’t enter into the story at all.
What we end up with is a trio of interconnected stories concerning Payback’s feud with most of the other inmates, Devlin’s attempts to extort the location of psychic super genius Loeb’s fortune from him, and the plight of Diego Diaz (Brennan Mejia, The Dead Girls Detective Agency, Kaboom) a wimpy little guy who’s only superpower is advanced empathy. Of course, he’s the one who ends up in the middle of it all when he stops Payback from killing Loeb.
Unfortunately, apart from a bland and derivative script Corrective Measures suffers from terrible miscasting of its central roles. Rooker, who’s usually an excellent actor is embarrassingly off here. His character is inane to start with, fancying himself some kind of antebellum plantation overseer, but Rooker’s performance only makes it worse and the result is silly, not sinister.
Willis on the other hand is bland where he should have been somewhat hammy. Loeb is a role that called for at least a touch of Bond villain styled scenery-chewing like Mel Gibson brought to his role in Boss Level. Whether he deliberately played the character as incredibly resigned and world-weary or Corrective Measures was just another film he ended up sleepwalking through I can’t say. But either way, The Lobe is one of the dullest supervillains in cinematic history. Tom Cavanagh (The Flash, 400 Days) who has a small but important role as the now-forgotten supervillain The Conductor would have been much better in the part. And The Conductor’s story arc would have fit Willis’ limited screen time perfectly.
It makes for a long, slow, slog to the final act when the prisoners get their powers back and the expected riot breaks out. Unfortunately, since most of the inmates deserve to be locked up and the guards are sadistic assholes there’s almost nobody to root for. And the fights themselves are camera enhanced to the point O’Reilly might as well have animated them.
I’m sure Corrective Measures was meant to appeal to the same audience as The Boys and Watchmen, and the ending, as well as a post-credits sequence, hints at a sequel or series. But it’s too bland and lightweight to compete with them. It’s not the worst of the Tubi Originals, but it’s a hell of a fall from Die Hard and Moonlighting.