“You betrayed me. You will die in that room tonight.”
It’s been a while since I’ve given a film a half star rating because I usually find some positive thing to say, but Joe Lynch’s latest movie has broken the streak. I didn’t find one redeemable quality in Everly and it’s going to be very hard for me to find another film that I could despise as much as this one. The violence in this film is disturbing and gratuitous. The screenplay, which I’m surprised to hear was in the 2010 Blacklist for most liked unmade script, is insane. The story centers on Salma Hayek’s character, Everly, who from the opening scene of the movie is facing off gangsters and assassins sent by her mob boss to kill her for betraying him. She is held up in her apartment and there are people after her coming from every direction. We’ve seen similar themed action movies like The Raid or The Judge, but this film has terrible action scenes and it doesn’t make much sense. First her boss wants her killed at any cost so he sends everyone to do the job for him, but by the end he decides he should be the one to do it in the most painful way possible so we get some very strange and disturbing torture scenes. The film also fails to be humorous even though it tries really hard to be, which reminds us why what Tarantino does is so difficult to pull off. Everly tries very hard to imitate the style of Korean action films, but it doesn’t come near to them. You need to have a story in order to get away with some of the violence, but here it all seems incredible senseless.
Salma Hayek plays the lead role, but there isn’t much she can do with a script like this where there is no character development whatsoever. I understand that these films don’t need to introduce any backstories for these type of characters but they should at least be consistent throughout the movie, and here it seems like Everly started off as a scared and defenseless character and ended up turning into a female version of the Terminator by the end. The pacing of the film was also an issue for me. The 90 minutes felt like a three hour film and I kept on checking my watch to see how much time was left. I honestly don’t understand some of the love this film has received, because I honestly didn’t find any redeeming quality to it. Everly is by far the worst film of 2014. It’s exploitative torture trash in my opinion and it left a bad taste in my mouth. Joe Lynch should take some lessons from Tarantino before he decides to make another action flick like this.