Directed by: Edward Drake
Starring: Bruce Willis, Jack Kilmer, Lochlyn Munro, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Willow Shields, Dina Meyer, Timothy V. Murphy
Synopsis: Bruce Willis stars as Detective James Knight in this final, tense chapter of the trilogy. Knight’s Last-minute assignment to the Independence Day shift turns into a race to stop an unbalanced ambulance EMT from imperilling the city’s festivities. The misguided vigilante, playing cop with a stolen gun and uniform, has a bank vault full of reasons to put on his own fireworks show…one that will strike dangerously close to Knight’s home.
Edward Drake returns with the third and final outing of his successful Bruce Willis franchise, Detective Knight: Independence
This third and final installment of Detective Knight, the recently reinstated Detective is on the trail of a vigilante who is posing as a cop and taking the law into his own hands. Here, Bruce Willis takes a backseat to Jack Kilmer’s character Dezi, who is played by Jack Kilmer. As an EMT, Dezi feels deeply underappreciated in his line of work and is underappreciated by his colleagues. After getting beaten up by some police officers, Dezi decides he has had enough of being walked over and starts delivering his own brand of law enforcement.
Kilmer brings the heat
There is a striking resemblance between Jack Kilmer and his famous father Val, including his dad’s famous 1995 Heat hairstyle. The character of Dezi comes to life with Jack’s confident performance. He takes the reins and owns this movie. Jack has a similar demeanor to Val, which is further highlighted by the styling and wardrobe choices in the film. His charisma and charm are on full display, and he conveys both the vulnerability and strength of the character with ease. Observing his journey and slowly but surely witnessing his mental breakdown, one cannot help but feel sorry for him. In a similar manner to the character played by Michael Douglas in the film Falling Down. The emotional rollercoaster he was taken on was heartbreaking and made one realize just how fragile the human mind can be.
Shields is perfectly cast
Willow Shields is Dezi’s EMT partner Ally. She is a love interest of sorts and a positive force in her life. In terms of feeling under appreciated and mistreated by the people they save and the law enforcement around them, she and Dezi are on the same page. Despite the fact that Ally feels these emotions, she does not possess the same level of hatred and rage as Dezi. Despite her own frustrations, Ally still shows a level of compassion and understanding that Dezi often lacks, helping to keep her grounded.
By Knight’s side, Lochlyn Munro gets a little more action and presence as he returns to the action saddle. In my opinion, Munro would be an excellent addition to any cast and would be an automatic draw for me. His past projects have proven that he can bring a certain level of intensity and conviction to a role, making him perfectly suited for the action genre.
Timothy V. Murphy, a regular bad guy and all around badass, makes an appearance. At first glance, he appears to be a legitimate individual, but Tim, we know legitimate is not in your contract! Timothy’s intimidating demeanor always makes for an enjoyable viewing experience. Although Timothy and Bruce do not go toe to toe, we know that if they had, an all-out war would have ensued. Timothy’s character has a reputation for being a formidable foe and is known for his ability to take on any challenge. He’s a master of the art of deception and is often able to outwit his opponents. His menacing presence is a testament to his strength and skill, always making sure that viewers are left on the edge of their seats.
The grand finale
The final chapter of Edward’s trilogy offers more of a story-focused conclusion than a full-throttled action thriller. A slow burn thriller, Independence begins slowly before erupting into a mighty eruption at the end. Drawing on his prior experiences, Edward builds a true climax of emotions, leaving viewers satisfied with the conclusion they’ve been waiting for.
By avoiding the traditional action-packed finale, Edward provides viewers with an emotional conclusion to his trilogy. He weaves together his characters’ stories, pulling on threads from previous experiences to create an immersive and satisfying ending. The slow build-up allows the viewer to appreciate the finale even more, as the stakes are raised and the tension reaches its climax.
The tension escalates to an exciting and thrilling conclusion, as Bruce engages in an adrenaline-filled, high-speed chase, hanging from a truck and firing an assault rifle. The climax of the slow build-up was further heightened by the thrilling car chase, creating an intense cinematic experience that was reminiscent of a memorable moment in Die Hard 4.
In the finale’s chase, director Edward Drake incorporates a real helicopter, which adds to the high-octane action. It is common for action movies to add a dodgy looking CGI helicopter. Our Eddie goes the whole hog and once again delivers a satisfying thriller. The combination of the real helicopter and the stunning cinematography leads to a more intense, realistic experience for the viewer. This is a perfect example of the director’s brilliance in creating a thrilling action sequence.
Independence does not conclude with Knight’s retirement or death, but rather with a knockout punch, which is exactly what one would expect from a Knight film. This knockout punch ensures that the legacy of the Knight will remain alive and continue to inspire viewers for generations to come. There is a sense of an open world and that after the movie concludes Knight will return to routine patrol and kicking asses and taking names. This was fitting for the film’s ending.
I must shout-out the the finale again, it is very satisfying and by using a real helicopter instead of CGI, Drake is able to capture the movements of the aircraft more realistically, giving the action scene a more natural feel. The combination of the real helicopter and the stunning cinematography adds to the drama and intensity of the scene, immersing the viewer in the action and making it feel more real. This is a testament to Drake’s skill in creating a thrilling action sequence.
A fitting end to Bruce’s career and to his final trilogy, Detective Knight: Independence was a fitting conclusion to his career. The character of James Knight is one I wish we had the opportunity to meet earlier in his career. I believe that if we had met him when he was younger, he would have resembled Denzel Washington’s character, Alonzo, in Training Day. Edward, you did a great job! In addition to Lionsgate and Buffalo 8, you and your crew have done Bruce and the action community a great service. Standing ovation all the way! I look forward to your next project.