Film #20: EVERLY
2 out of 5 stars
Director Joe Lynch has certainly come a long way. I first met Joe on the set of his first film, WRONG TURN 2, when I visited the set for Fangoria. Joe was a knowledgeable guy who displayed a large and thorough understanding of genre. He was also a really nice guy. After getting himself involved with the bone-headed anthology film, CHILLERAMA, his next film – KNIGHTS OF BADASSDOM – was mired in corporate politics and sketchy ‘audience reaction cards’ which meant that the film was summarily dumped onto streaming services and home video. So, it was with a mixed mind that I came to his latest film, EVERLY. What I came away with from the film was that EVERLY is a VERY well-made action thriller with some very solid acting (especially Salma Hayek who carries most of the film), however…. The thing that cripples the film is its script. Much like typical actioners, physical damage means nothing here, character motivations are as thin as Salma’s camisole, and the action is poorly timed and jerky. I mean, there are scenes in EVERLY that, in comparison, makes the Mel Gibson / Gary Busey fight at the end of LETHAL WEAPON look like it was shot by Kevin Smith. So confusing. And don't get me started with its awkward sense of the passage of Time. Now, that’s not to say there aren’t some inspired moments to the film. There are. But the lines of logic get pulled so thin that it makes the suspension of disbelief nearly impossible. I mean, when did this call girl become JOHN WICK? Further, I also had some problem with the way Japanese folk were portrayed in the film (all are either Yakuza thugs, over-sexualized pain merchants, or wearing ridiculous Kabuki masks). Still… Hayek is beautiful throughout the film and, again, there are some fun action sequences (“BALL!”). I'm just bummed because there is an immense amount of talent evident behind the camera… pity Lynch didn’t have a better script from which to work.