Detective Knight: Redemption (2022) Review
Detective Knight: Redemption opens with a bank robbery and shootout between the police and a group of well-armed and mask-wearing Santas. NYPD Captain Anna Shea (Miranda Edwards, Taken Too Far, Snowpiercer) has been chasing this gang and their leader Conlan (Paul Johansson, Van Helsing, The Boondock Saints II: All Saints’ Day) known as The Christmas Bomber with no success.
Meanwhile, James Knight (Bruce Willis, Corrective Measures, Survive the Night), Casey Rhodes (Beau Mirchoff, I Am Number 4, Flatliners), and Mercer (Corey Large, Broil, Paradise City) are all still behind bars after the events of Detective Knight: Rogue. But not for too much longer because Rhodes and Mercer get caught up in a mass escape and find themselves in with Conlan’s gang. Running out of options, Captain Shea has to make a deal with Knight, the man she put behind bars.
Bruce Willis taking on heavily armed bad guys who spout political manifestos while stealing loads of cash during the Christmas season, that seems familiar for some reason. Not that I’d dream of inferring that director Edward Drake (Apex, Animals) and co-writer Corey Large were trying to cash in on the audience’s memories of Die Hard. Because if I made Detective Knight: Redemption, that’s the last comparison I’d want viewers to make.
Detective Knight: Redemption certainly looked like it was going to be a solid film as the killer Santas exited the bank to be confronted by several squad cars. full of cops. Unfortunately, the resulting confrontation is so short it’s almost over before it starts. The same with the prison break. It’s supposed to be happening on Riker’s Island, one of the worst prisons in America, but there are only a handful of guards, none of whom have guns.
While the film’s action scenes may be of the blink-and-you-’ll-miss-it variety, we get to listen at great length to the psychotic Conlan giving monologues about poverty and social injustice. We also get to listen to Fitzgerald (Lochlyn Munro, Margaux, Totally Killer), Knight’s partner from the first film, tell Shea what a shitty cop she is for arresting Knight merely because he killed a couple of suspects.
With a bit of actual effort, Detective Knight: Redemption could have been an interesting thriller, pitting two men willing to kill for their very different beliefs against each other. Instead, we get Willis’ tough guy cop, in the few scenes he has, pitted against a one-dimensional Antifa boogeyman ranting and killing people while in league with the city’s liberal mayor. We also get a mid-credits scene where we’re told cops should be allowed to kill ex-cons because they’ll simply re-offend anyway. Even The Daily Wire’s movies are more subtle than this.
If Detective Knight: Redemption had actually delivered some thrills and action scenes, this probably wouldn’t have been a problem. Keep the audience entertained, and they’ll accept a lot of things they otherwise would object to. Lecture them, and even some of the audience that agree with you will get bored and annoyed. Even more so when they tuned in expecting actions, not words.
As for Willis himself, he’s once again barely in the film. He has a few scenes in the first act, mostly alone in his cell. Then he goes off to investigate and doesn’t return until the final act, when he spends most of his time on the phone. Even when he shares a scene with other cast members, he’s rarely in the same shot at them.
Detective Knight: Redemption wastes the potential to be an entertaining thriller and instead becomes a tedious, talky mess that will be lucky to reach the 3.6 rating its predecessor currently has on IMDB.
Lionsgate will release Detective Knight: Redemption in theatres and on VOD and Digital platforms on December 9th. It will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on January 17th. And if you’re looking for something similar, but hopefully better, FilmTagger can offer some suggestions.