Once Upon a Time in Venice

This is an RLJ Entertainment release of a production from Voltage Pictures. The producers are: Laura Ford, Nicolas Chartier, Mark Cullen, Robb Cullen and Zev Foreman. The Executive producers being Stephen Eads, Valentina Gardani and Patrick Newall.

This movie stars Bruce Willis John Goodman and Jason Momoa and was directed by Mark Cullen. The script was written by himself along with his brother Robb Cullen. It is an English movie which has been translated into Arabic. The story is about a detective in Venice beach, Los Angeles, who seeks out his dog that has been stolen by a ruthless gang.

Over the past decade at least, Bruce Willis has been cast in action roles such as Die Hard and 12 monkeys and many others in this genre. Those of us who have been around a bit longer than that will remember Moonlighting where he stared with Cybil Shepherd in the role as a detective in a private agency. Here he was cast in the role of a casual somewhat bumbling but sharp-witted co- worker. He was known for his comic one liners between the action scenes. It is good to see him revive this considerable comedic talent. The role he plays in Once upon a time in Venice is that of another private eye Steve Ford. The film is a vehicle for a series of wisecracks by Bruce Willis who is generally a pretty likable screen character. The movie revolves around the disappearance of Steve’s (Bruce Willis’) dog: Buddy. The dog has been stolen by Spyder (Jason Momoa) and his druggie gang.

As the movie unfolds, he seems like a pretty casual guy who spends a lot of time on his skateboard. He has a busy love life while talking a lot about his work with his somewhat depressed best buddy, Dave (played by John Goodman). Dave’s beautiful wife has filed for divorce and while he is terribly down, he is also in the market for some erotic escapades.

Steve not only saves his dog, Buddy, from the thugs, he also has some other daft investigations which make up other parts of the sub plot. One involving the rescue of a Samoan beauty played by Jessica Gomes, in order to return her to her brothers. Another being the unmasking of a graffiti artist who is defacing buildings managed by a sleazy developer “Lew the Jew” played by Adam Goldberg. The movie does make use of jibes at minorities which some may find offensive.

The plot is undemanding and superficial, but entertaining and revolves mostly around the dog. The movie is pleasant and mildly silly, but comic and a good bit of fun.

The movie is a crime/action comedy with fairly colorful characters who live in Venice beach in Southern California. There is quite a lot of typical OTT shoot outs and car crashes and explosions, punch ups and street fighting. There is quite a lot of adult-oriented scenes that are not suitable for children.