Living in Venice can be fun, with beaches, board walks, piers, scenic store fronts and many other interesting places to go. But Venice has its dark side, crime, drugs, and yes stolen dogs. This investigative story leads to one message, don’t mess with a man’s dog.
Venice beach has its crime, but Steve Ford (Bruce Willis) being the only private detective in town does everything he can to protect this town. He takes pride in educating the youth about the streets, he is out there to help his neighbors and friends, and takes care of his sister, Katey (Famke Janssen) and niece, Taylor (Emily Robinson).
What he loves most of all however is his niece’s dog, Buddy Ford. Everyday Steve volunteers to watch and take care of Buddy and spends lots of time with him. He treats Buddy as his own to the point where he considers him to be his.
One day Buddy is stolen along with other items from his sister’s apartment. Steve will do anything to save his dog, including trying to foil a gang of drug dealers lead by Spider (Jason Momoa). With his longtime friend Dave (John Goodman), who is going through a nasty divorce, and John (Thomas Middleditch) his new co-worker, they set out to find and locate Buddy.
Director Mark Cullen captures the essence of Venice, with its beach type community and transient people. As for the story, Cullen lacks some imagination. There are some laughs from time to time and some interesting scenes that do keep you interested. All in all this is just your everyday average film.
Bruce Willis does his normal best with the role and working with John Goodman for the first time is the charm. The two bounce off each other with some good comedy, although it’s not a lot of screen time together. It’s a wonder the pair haven’t been in a film before now as both have had good careers in the business from action to drama. Hopefully well catch them budding up in the near future because they make a good pair together. Thomas Middleditch as John also makes a good match for part of the trio.
Since this is the new release on Blu-ray/DVD it would be a nice quiet evening rental that would definitely entertain in that setting. The Blu-ray/DVD combo includes a behind the scenes featurette along with the two disc’s.
Once Upon a Time in Venice has been not been rated by the MPAA , but contains rude language, sex, brutality, nudity, sexually explicit drawings and drug use. Please be cautioned that immature children not see he film.
Final Comment: This funny but entertaining story leads to an adventure all its own.
Additional Film Information
Cast: Bruce Willis, John Goodman, Jason Momoa, Thomas Middleditch, Famke Janssen, Adam Goldberg, and Jessica Gomes
Directed and Written by: Mark Cullen
Genre: Action, Comedy, Thriller
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 1 hour and 34 minutes
Release Date: August 16, 2017
Distributed By: Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Released In: DVD/Blu-ray