CINCINNATI – One of the latest movies filmed in the Queen City hit screens big and small on Friday.
"Reprisal" stars Bruce Willis, Frank Grillo, Johnathon Schaech and Olivia Culpo. Director Brian A. Miller filmed the movie in Cincinnati over several weeks beginning Aug. 7, 2017.
The movie also is set in Cincinnati. It tells the story of Jacob, a bank manager played by Grillo, who teams up with his neighbor, an ex-cop named Jim played by Willis, to seek vengeance against the man who violently robbed the bank where Jacob works.
Local production crews and extras who worked on "Reprisal" had the chance to see the movie Thursday evening during a private, red carpet screening at the Esquire Theatre in Clifton, according to a media release from Film Cincinnati. The film's first public showing was at 12:40 p.m. Friday at the Esquire.
The movie can also be watched through various video-on-demand services such as Fandango.
Early reviews of the action film from multiple national outlets have been less than stellar, with most focusing on the disappointing performance by marquee actor Willis.
Hollywood Reporter movie critic Frank Scheck succinctly described the movie -- and Willis' depiction of Jim -- "as perfunctory as it gets" in his review.
Scheck added that the movie's elaborately staged action sequences delivered "zero suspense."
Rick Bentley of the "Chicago Tribune" provided nearly the same critique of "Reprisal," writing, "The slog down dreary acting lane continues with 'Reprisal,' an action movie that features a sleepwalking effort by Willis."
He also mentioned "Marauders," the first movie starring Willis that filmed in Cincinnati in 2015. Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films produced both "Reprisal" and "Marauders."
The film production company also shot “Inconceivable,” starring Nicolas Cage and Gina Gershon, and "Gotti," starring John Travolta and Kelly Preston, in Cincinnati in 2016.
The biggest praise Bentley musters in his half-star review of "Reprisal" is for Schaech, who plays the movie's villain Gabriel. Schaech also appeared in "Marauders" with Willis.
"Schaech gets the most out of what little's given," according to Bentley. "It is a dark role for the 'That Thing You Do!' star, and he steps up to the challenge. It was just not challenging enough."
Ben Kenigsberg of the "New York Times" classified the 89-minute-long movie as straight to video quality.
"'Video on demand' doesn’t have the same ring" he wrote. "Nevertheless, 'Reprisal' would have once filled out a lonely shelf at a Blockbuster, the ideal home for its sedate performances and visually hectic action."
Regardless of what reviewers think of the acting and plot, it is clear that director Miller kept his promise to fully utilizes the Queen City for the movie's setting after seeing "Reprisal."
The movie opens with sweeping drone footage of the city's skyline and Ohio River shot just west of the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge at dawn. That scene is immediately followed by an aerial view of Over-the-Rhine with the city's Central Business District to the south. Other wide-angle shots of the city are then sprinkled throughout the film between the movie's frantic action sequences. Those action sequences mostly take place in Queensgate, Downtown, Over-the-Rhine and along the riverfront.
Viewers will easily recognize Smale Park, the Roebling Bridge, Sawyer Point and the Purple People Bridge toward the end of the film. Tougher locations to spot include Gabriel's layer on Mohawk Street in Over-the-Rhine, a gunfight set in Iola Alley near Lytle Park and a car chase that zips past Longworth Hall on East Pete Rose Way.
Check out each of the recognizable shoot locations in the Google Map below by tapping on each film icon.
It appears that the Esquire is the only local theater that will be screening "Reprisal." For hours and showtimes visit www.esquiretheatre.com.