2014 / Director Joe Lynch.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
EVERLY is a relentless, balls-to-the-wall action film. It tells the story of a Everly (Salma Heyak), a woman who has been held captive in a luxurious penthouse apartment by a merciless Japanese criminal overlord. When he discovers that she has been working with the police to bring down his organisation he sends a never-ending lineup of assassins into the apartment. Each of them has a specialised skill and Everly is tortured and beaten to a pulp while singlehandedly taking down every one of them until she has nothing left to give.
I have read a lot of criticisms about the film, most of which I can't comprehend. A reoccurring sentiment is that EVERLY is all style over substance, but I would argue that the style IS the movie's substance. This is a highly stylised, violent and visceral film experience that moves at a break-neck pace and has little time for character development. If you recall the "Crazy 88" segment from KILL BILL and can imagine that sustained for an entire film, then you will have an idea what to expect from EVERLY.
The film takes place almost entirely inside one apartment, and never strays outside of the building itself. The use of this one-set location is creative and clever as the camera dances gracefully from one sequence to the next without ever feeling repetitious or monotonous. The villainous characters that come and go are all wonderfully conceived and offer an assortment of effects. From batshit crazy to quirky and psychotic... and especially terrifying in the final act... EVELYN is packed to the brim with oddities.
Salma Heyak carries the film effortlessly. Her performance is physically demanding and at times emotionally charged and I can think of very few actresses who would have pulled it off as convincingly. The film recaptures some of her previous action experience from the EL MARIACHI series and gives her free reign in the ass-kicking department. Director Joe Lynch has also stepped up his game and delivered an accomplished film. He has been a filmmaker with lots of promise who has never been able to live up to his potential, and following films like WRONG TURN 2 and CHILLERAMA he has finally established himself as a filmmaker with vision. He handles the action really well and the whole film is eye candy for anyone who loves genre.
If you're prepared to bunker down on the couch and bare witness to 90 minutes of chaos and mayhem then you are sure to have a ball. Lap of every drop of blood and relish the brutality. Its a hell of a lot of fun.