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Matt Eskandari
Bruce Willis, Nicky Whelan, Steve Guttenberg
Writing Credits:
Paul J. Da Silva

Alone and trapped in a locked-down hospital isolation ward overnight, an injured young woman must escape a pair of vicious killers

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 87 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 2/4/2020

• Trailer & Previews


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Trauma Center [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 27, 2020)

Just recently, Bruce Willis starred in an actual A-list movie with other A-list actors. 2019’s Motherless Brooklyn brought a lackluster film, but at least it came with certain level of cinematic credibility absent from most of Willis’s modern fare.

With Trauma Center, though, Willis goes back into his lane. Another in his long line of direct-to-video efforts, Willis plays Lt. Steve Wakes, a cop in Puerto Rico.

When shooters (Texas Battle and Tito Ortiz) kill two police detectives, one witness survives: waitress Madison Taylor (Nicky Whelan). She winds up with a bullet in her thigh but escapes greater damage when police sirens scare away the culprits.

Wakes finds the injured Madison at the hospital – as do the assailants, who turn out to be corrupt cops. Since the bullet that hit Madison can implicate them in the crime, the killers come after her, with only Wakes to protect her.

I often find myself confronted with movies that boast ample potential for excitement, and Trauma falls into that category. Although nothing about it seems likely to innovate, it still feels like a premise with room for tension and thrills.

Alas, I get the feeling the filmmakers figured the basic idea behind Trauma would carry the day. As such, they appeared to invest little effort into niceties like character development and logic.

Hoo boy, does Trauma jettison common sense! Many films require some suspension of disbelief, but to get through this one, the viewer must destroy disbelief.

The movie packs one nonsensical moment after another, each of which provokes little more than eye rolling. These scenes exist to prompt suspense, but they sabotage the drama due to their basic absurdity.

I don’t know if I’ll accuse Willis of entering “Check Cashing Mode” via his performance, but he clearly doesn’t invest his top effort. He yells/blusters through the action beats and looks mopey during character moments. At no point does Willis resemble a credible human being.

Whelan fares better, as she at least shows actual effort, but she can’t do much with the role. While she seems adequate, she never goes farther than that.

It also seems bizarre that the producers cast the nearly 40-year-old Whelan as the sister to a 16-year-old. Not that siblings with such extreme age differences don’t exist, but this seems head-scratching.

In the story, the mother to Madison and teen sister Emily (Catherine Davis) died – and in a cheesy move, her fate made Madison conveniently afraid of hospitals. The story sets up tension between the siblings, as young Emily resents Madison’s attempts to play mommy.

The movie doesn’t need this conflict at all, as the story works just fine if Madison and Emily enjoy a smooth relationship. The plot device makes more sense with a younger Madison, though.

Logic never becomes this flick’s strong suit, so maybe I shouldn’t pick on the choice to hire a much too old lead actor. I can find plenty of blame to go around in this dull, silly thriller.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B/ Bonus D-

Trauma Center appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a bland but acceptable image.

Sharpness tended to seem adequate. The film rarely boasted great delineation, but it also never became truly soft, so the presentation showed more than acceptable accuracy.

I saw no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects, and the image lacked edge haloes. Print flaws also remained absent.

Colors opted for a blue/teal tint most of the time. The hues appeared decent though not dynamic.

Blacks were a bit dense, while shadows seemed a little on the murky side. The image was perfectly watchable but it lacked much vivacity.

I felt more pleased with the fairly good DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Trauma. This wasn’t exactly an action-packed mix, so one shouldn’t expect constant auditory shenanigans. When appropriate, the soundscape kicked to life well, but much of it focused on ambient information and music.

Audio quality worked fine. Dialogue worked fine, so the lines seemed natural and concise.

Music offered good range and impact, and effects followed suit. These elements contributed fine dimensionality, with strong low-end at appropriate times. All of this led to a worthwhile soundtrack.

The disc opens with ads for 10 Minutes Gone, Escape Plan: The Extractors, The Tracker and Lucky Day. We also find a trailer for Trauma but no other extras.

Another Bruce Willis direct-to-video stinker, Trauma Center never manages to develop any drama or tension. It comes across as a by-the-numbers thriller that offers zero excitement or creativity. The Blu-ray brings generally good audio but visuals seem somewhat mediocre and we get no real supplements. Skip this tedious cop drama.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 3
0 3:
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