Shattered contains more than its fair share of implausibilities, sometimes straining credibility to the breaking point, but at least we’re spared the same old psycho lover routine. Neither Chris nor Sky are particularly interesting – even when bumpin’ uglies – because they feel like patchwork composites of characters in similar films, nor are the actors able to breathe much new life into them. Grillo, however, seems to be having a great time. The less said about Malkovich’s embarrassing role, the better.
There are a few lapses in plausibility – probably necessary to keep the story moving forward – so some suspension of disbelief is required at times, but no more than we needed for movies like Speed. While not as rousing or fast-paced as that film, Hard Hit is an enjoyable thriller in the same vein, despite the lazy title.
Malignant is no masterpiece, nor is it particularly scary (despite an abundance of familiar jump scares). However, the film is entertaining, uninhibited and culminates in a bonkers final act that – whether one finds it thrilling or ridiculous – is certainly memorable.
But while none-too-original, Great White is certainly watchable. Viewers might even find considerable enjoyment in its utter predictability. Like comfort food or a Hallmark movie, there’s nothing special or surprising about it, but at least you know what you’re gonna get. Shark fans with similarly modest expectations shouldn’t be disappointed.
There are a few pieces left over which unnecessarily extend the finished picture, meaning the denouement goes on a little longer than it needs to. But for the most part, the film is enjoyably complex and visually arresting. Anchored by a great performance by O’Brien, Flashback is a conceptually ambitious puzzle that might even be worth putting together more than once.
The film is bolstered by good performances and engaging characters. Jung-min reminds me of a ‘70s-era Charles Bronson (he sorta resembles ol’ Chuck, too) and Jung-jae makes Ray a wonderfully vicious villain. Elsewhere, Jeong-min manages to steal a few scenes while avoiding the trap of turning Yui into a mere caricature. Most importantly, writer-director Hong Won-chan utilizes his own “very particular set of skills” to turn his film into an exciting variation of the Taken formula. Despite the disturbing basic premise, Deliver Us from Evil is an entertaining, tension-filled slab of movie mayhem.