After what it seems a very long wait, we had the chance to see “Everly” Joe Lynch’s (Wrong Turn 2, Knights of Badassdom) new film. In this movie we have Salma Hayek as the titular character, who after being found out as an informer by Taiko, a ruthless Yakuza Boss, will try to escape from her apartment alive and get her mother the money she will need to disappear with Everly’s daughter in order to avoid a fate worse than death.
However, such task won’t be easy, since Everly will have to deal with a big number of assasins, both amateurs and professionals that thru the night will be paying her a visit looking to score the big reward that Taiko has put on Everly’s head.
If you have seen the trailer, there is not much I can tell you without the risk to fall into the spoiler zone, mainly because the story is as simple and straight as you see on the video. The good news is that the trailer did not tell you the whole movie, like these days so often happens, neither is showing the best parts, or the best scenes (Yes, I wrote that on purpose)
Now, that being said, I want to share what I believe are the stronger points of the film;
First of all, the plot is very well paced, there’s lots of action, with very few pauses, and when they come, is mainly to bring some back story to the characters and to let us have a breather and get ready for the next action piece.
Most of the film takes place inside Everly’s apartment and the hallway, at some moments we just see what’s going on in the corridor thru the door, and at other times the action takes us to the hallway itself, you might think this could get boring after a while, but the way the shots are handled are more than effective, and there is never during all the film a dull moment.
There are homage’s to other action films, and I’m sure there were several that I didn’t catch, but those I noticed, did not felt forced, nor desperate attempts to get our attention. There is some comedy in the mix and a few one-liners worth of memes, not to mention a couple of quick cuts that brings a cornetto to mind (can’t say more) and there is even a musical montage, to boot. I think it’s worth to mention that the music score done by Bear McCreary (TV’s The Walking Dead, Battlestar Galactica and Lynch’s two precious films among others) was another highlight of the film, and if you haven’t seen the “Silent Night” cover by Raya Yarbrough, I totally recommend you to do so.
While there is lots of blood on the screen, I do think the explicit gore was kept to a minimum as some of the deaths occur off-screen, but although they are left to our imagination, we have no problems to guess what happened, the same goes for a gang rape scene, and honestly, I think was a good choice. All that does not mean we don’t get our gore hound fix, I just felt the need to point it out because it was a route that I didn’t expect from the director whose debut film was “Wrong Turn 2”, I guess Lynch decided to take the route of his short film “Truth In Journalism” this time, it was a surprise, but a nice one, though.
…And here is were I need to rant about the stuff that kind of jumped out to me during the movie, although at no moment I felt the impulse to reach for the “Stop” button and yell at the screen..
On several occasions it is referenced that Taiko is “The devil himself” and that several characters fear him, still we met a person that has no problems to talk back to him like an equal and even scold him. Was this character like Taiko’s Boba Feet? You know, as “It’s no good to me dead” and “As you wish”? Hmmm I wonder… This same character is involved in a very cool action scene that was messed up by a kind of crappy CGI effect, the moment it’s brief, and to be fair, I only noticed it on the second viewing, but once you see it, it sticks with you. I won’t say more…
Another thing I want to rant about is that although the actress portraying Edith (Everly’s mom) did a great job I found it odd that she spoke Spanish clearly with a accent from Spain, while every time Everly speaks Spanish (Not that much, mind you) it’s with a Latino (more specific Mexican) accent, I know that is something my American friends don’t care for (Except when they rant about the main guy from Pacific Rim loosing his American accent, huh) but to me is something that always takes me a little bit out from the films. I wonder if that’s why Everly and her mother very quickly resume speaking in English… Again, it’s not something that will make a movie bad, but I need to bring it up (by now I bet you can notice English is not my native language, huh?)
And in case you are wondering, YES!! There is some fan service… and honestly… I thank the camera guy for it. I never been one of the guys who think Salma Hayek is THAT hot (I guess I see her differently since I know her from her telenovela’s days) but MAN! In this movie looks AWESOMELY HOT! She kicks ass and shows some… How can I complain? And yes, she delivered in the acting side too, but that was to be expected, she has always been a good actress in my book, I just think she hasn’t been challenged in a while, but that’s just me.
All right, that’s pretty much all my complaints about “Everly” I think it’s a very good film… ok, A GREAT film, but it’s right on my alley, so take that with a grain of salt. What we have here is a very balanced film, with several cool sequences that I’m sure we will see repeated on future films, it also has several interesting and cool characters, and the story has a very original development that I liked. There was so much care on the details that I wonder if it was shot in sequence (I mean that the scenes were shot in the exact order that we see in the final film) because if it wasn’t, it must have been hell to keep everything in it’s place!
There are some little details here and there that I don’t know if they were seeds for possible future stories or if I’m just looking for doors where there are none. If you ever listen to Spanish-language podcast, I’ll go more in detail about this film in future episodes of “Desde Abajo” (that means “From Below” in case you’re wondering)
Final Verdict? A solid 4.5/5
Geek Fact: According to the director Joe Lynch (who also co wrote the story with Yale Hannon) somewhere on the room, there is a “Wicket the Ewok” action figure, that Lynch had with him during filming. If by any chance you find it, tweet him with the hashtag #Ewokbomb, I have seen the film 3 times now, and I still have no clue as to where it is… Although I did find an interesting cameo
GeekJacking: It might be my imagination/paranoia but I think there were not only homage’s to action/thriller films, but also to some anime titles, dare I say “Akira”, and in a twisted/reversal way “Cowboy Bebop”?.
GeekJacking 2; There were phrases and moments from the trailer that were not included on the film (I don’t like it when that happens most of the time) there were not THAT important, but I wanted to point it out. Extended scenes on the Bluray, perhaps?
Wish list; I want those Taiko’s gang Pins!! And The ringtone!! Take My Money!!