Tuesday, 29 September 2015

REVIEW - SOLACE (AFONSO POYART)


This run-of-the-mill cop thriller has all of the whats and the hows, and none of the whys. It tells us that the killer did it, naturally, but it can't tell us why the killer did it, despite numerous scenes of expository pseudo-psychoanalysis from one character about another (or about themselves). It tells us that there's a paranormal angle to this case, but it can't tell us why, nor even what gargantuan suspension of disbelief is required in order to excuse this, at least as long as the film can be bothered acknowledging it. It tells us that it exists, but alas, Solace can't tell us why it exists, nor why we ought to care. Its origins as a sequel to David Fincher's Se7en show through in its basic design, though not in Afonso Poyart's dreadfully simplistic direction. His stylistic affectations come off as accidental lurches, like moments where the executives fell asleep and failed to pick up on the pretensions they had excised everywhere else. It's all fairly beige until the woman in red multiplies and strips naked, or until the pre-teen kid is autopsied and his brain is sliced open. But even that's easier to stomach in this context than the very existence of Solace in the context of the American film industry. More whys: Why does Colin Farrell appear about two thirds of the way through? Why did Abbie Cornish's career have to amount to this? Why did Anthony Hopkins even show up? Hopkins is just about Solace's saving grace, though I'll admit that run-of-the-mill cop thrillers like this are my soft spot, and I'll almost always give them a watch, if not a pass. Solace doesn't earn a pass. It was close enough, until it debased itself with a vile homophobic association that categorically ruled it out of receiving a pass from me. And you? You just ought to pass altogether.