Or Just Survive this Movie

Bruce Willis is old enough to play the retired cop, sitting in a corner rocking chair, sipping scotch. Die Hard happened a while ago, if you hadn’t realized.

Like those retired cop archetypes, their generic, brooding form, Survive the Night plays to the routine and cliché. It’s one of those movies – the type where finding words to even express the basic good/bad escapes the second it’s over. Some crooks, cash, a disgraced doctor, a bit of shooting, an obligatory cool guy Bruce Willis car chase, roll credits.

Stuff like Survive the Night falls into a critical purgatory

Survive the Night drones on, endlessly dull as thinly drawn characters bicker during a home invasion. Emotive this story is not, most of the sympathy stuck to Tyler Jon Olson, playing one of the criminals who’s shot in the leg and needs surgery. He spends most of Survive the Night on a table, comatose – a state viewers will hope for too.

There’s simply nothing here. Derivative, stock squabbles separate the family until the robbery forces them together. Camaraderie between Olson and on-screen brother Shea Buckner presents a stronger link, if not engrossing. Supposed tension doesn’t build sufficiently, making the action setpieces unfulfilling.

It’s rare any movie leaves so little worth saying – the truly dismal ones create comic opportunities, the great ones reactive essays. Stuff like Survive the Night falls into a critical purgatory, so aimless as to not be embarrassing for those involved, yet so… meandering it won’t progress any careers beyond this paycheck.

And for Bruce Willis, there’s nowhere further to fall.

Video

Generally carrying a heavy sepia tint, color grading makes Survive the Night look like a monochrome silent film. Nightfall at least adds some greens and blues, if not altering the single-hue aesthetic.

Artificial grain covers the digital cinematography, well resolved by the encode so no worries. High-grade sharpness and definition keeps detail flowing, bringing more intensity to the close-ups than the script itself. Gorier moments spare nothing in their texture. Set on a farm, exteriors bring out tree lines, wood sheds, and other such textures successfully.

Superb shadows sell the moonlit conditions, also keeping track of details and avoiding crush. Density remains high and consistent. There’s equally heavy contrast, glistening against those black levels. It’s a lot, maybe too harsh at a few points, but balanced out overall.

Audio

Budget restricted design does well to amplify action scenes, especially as gunshots break into the open air. Tree bark splinters, falling into the surrounds. A car chase pans around side-to-side, decent pans into the rears precise too. However, restrictive ambiance fails to convey rain hitting windows, or thunder rolling through the rears; it’s centered in the fronts.

LFE supplies ample punch, not the deepest, if potent. Shotguns push low, and the score throbs. Range isn’t special, but enough to give the limited action some power.

Extras

A generic 10-minute making of, followed by 32-minutes of interviews with the director and cast, the latter sourced to put together the former.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Survive the Night
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  • Audio
  • Extras
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Movie

Bruce Willis cashes another paycheck in the forgettable, meandering Survive the Night.

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