Wednesday 25 January 2023

REVIEW: Detective Knight: Independence (2023) - Starring Bruce Willis

Review by Jon Donnis
As we approach the end of the career of one of Hollywood's most famous actors, it is starting to hurt knowing what we do about Bruce Willis and his diagnosis of aphasia, a disorder typically caused by damage to the area of the brain that controls language expression and comprehension, and how limited he is in these final few films. With Detective Knight: Independence being the third of a trilogy after Detective Knight: Rogue and continued in Detective Knight: Redemption, and with only one more film due to be released, this was a hard watch.

We start the film in an interesting way as we witness a bank robbery from a first person POV. Just like in video games! The robbery comes to a bloody end, with Detective James Knight (Bruce WIllis), back working as a copy after the events of the previous film, shooting the final gang member and saving the hostage.

As the clean up begin, we are introduced to paramedics Dezi (Jack Kilmer) and Ally (Willow Shields), Dezi seems a bit unhinged and treats a wounded man terribly while putting him in the ambulance, we also learn that he always wanted to be a cop, he later steals a uniform.

The film takes place on July The 4th (Independence Day in the US), sadly no alien invasion, but this does follow the trend of previous films that took part on holidays. We also get to meet the other cops, Eric Fitzgerald (the very recognisable Lochlyn Munro) and Godwin Sango (the even more recognisable Jimmy Jean-Louis).

Detective James Knight is under investigation for putting the hostage's life at risk in the opening bank robbery, and Dezi has lost his job after the man he "helped" earlier has put in a complaint about him. With Dezi spiralling out of control mentally, it is only a matter of time before he will have to come face to face with Knight.

Of the three films released, Detective Knight: Independence is perhaps the most straight forward, but in being that way, it doesn't really feel like a sequel. You can tell that all of Willis' parts in the film have probably been shot in a day, and in the final scene of the film, it looks like they dubbed his own voice over his lines, so clearly he was struggling on that day.

The film itself is ok, the final 20 minutes are pretty decent, even though the film is about 90 minutes, there is quite a bit of filler with the Dezi and Ally characters. Neither are particularly likeable, even as bad guys. I'd have liked to see Lochlyn Munro get more screen time, and I think the film would have worked better if there was no Bruce Willis, and he was the lead.

The Good
Very enjoyable final 20 minutes, everything clicks into place, the action is good, the acting is believable, and there are some nice one liners from Bruce.

The Bad
It is hard to watch Bruce Willis when you know he is struggling so much. The film for me was the weakest of the trilogy, and didn't even feel like a sequel. It needed more of an end point for the Knight character, but I don't feel like we got it.

If you watched the previous two films, then it is a no brainer to watch this one. It isn't great, but it is worth a watch, especially for the final scene.

I score Detective Knight: Independence a generous 7/10

Out now on Amazon Prime at