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Black Butterfly (2017) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier 

Black Butterfly Review

Director: Brian Goodman
Writers: Justin Stanley (screenplay by), Marc Frydman (screenplay by)
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Piper Perabo

Plot: Outside a mountain town grappling with a series of abductions and murders, Paul (Antonio Banderas), a reclusive writer, struggles to start what he hopes will be a career-saving screenplay. After a tense encounter at a diner with a drifter named Jack (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Paul offers Jack a place to stay-and soon the edgy, demanding Jack muscles his way into Paul’s work and the two men begin a jagged game of one-upmanship that will bring at least one tale to an end.

Running Time: 93 Minutes
IMDB Score: 6.1
Why I Watched It: The trailer was alright but mostly the cast.

Random Thoughts: Antonio Banderas is making a lot of movies most of them action/thrillers and most of them straight to DVD or On Demand and for the most part he’s done well, he’s not sleep walking like Bruce Willis but the fear is making that many movies some are going to be bad.  Going into Black Butterfly it looked like a straight forward he is or isn’t he movie and you though in the cliched writer has writers’s block sub-plot I wasn’t holding out much hope.

What I Liked: Banderas is the best thing in this movie he plays it right down the middle you’re not sure of him but he’s likeable enough.  So this is in the sub-genre of a writer out on the woods trying to write, that’s cliched one, two is he’s a writer who had one big hit and nothing more, cliche number three he’s got writer’s block as we see in the first scene.  Banderas carries the film and I will say Rhys Meyers is a presence but he’s really playing a stock character but the cat and mouse with them is good even though pretty standard.

Now the film is pretty much saved with a twist, I’ll be honest the film was just so so and then in the third act we get a twist and for me I didn’t see it coming and it did make the film a lot better but then they trough another huge twist, that one didn’t work as well for me.  So lets stay positive, big twists in smaller films rarely work cause they come off as silly and usually they don’t stand up to any kind of thought, it might be cool but it doesn’t make sense.  Black Butterfly was a standard thriller, a guy lets a drifter into his home and all hell breaks loose, we’ve seen it a bunch of times but here they do something different and it actually made me think man they might have saved this, so good on them for a clever twist.

What I Didn’t Like: The second twist, it wasn’t needed and pretty much ruined the first twist.  They should have left it alone.  Also the movie just didn’t know when to end, it’s a sin a lot of directors have been doing lately, it’s like the last person at the party, the hosts want to go to bed but there’s that one person who wants the party to keep going, Black Butterfly is that party guest, the twist comes and we see the aftermath and it works and we’re like alright cool we’re done but it keeps going, and going,and then we get an ending then we get another twist. Quit while you’re ahead.

The film doesn’t really work for me, the movie drags in the middle and it kind of goes in circles, they also try to do too much, there’s a set  up at the beginning where a women goes missing and we don’t get to that sub-plot till the third act, another flaw is the performance of Jonathan Rhys Meyers, not bad but also kind of going through the motions, sure it kind of works better when you know the twist but he’s caught playing not bad enough and not likeable enough he hedges his bets here.  Also didn’t care for Piper Perabo, her role is very under written and she’s more of a plot point than a character and really she brings nothing to the film and after the twist her role makes less sense.

I mention the film dragging and that really hurts the films momentum, they kind of start stop and the tension is kind of broken a few times, the film needed to be a lot taunter, the thriller needed more thrills to be blunt.  Really there’s not much action, just a bunch of running.

Final Thoughts: Mixed for me, an average film with a good twist and a couple of good ideas, good cast but not used real well.

Rating: 5/10

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