Everly (Radius-TWC, R)

everly 75The best thing about this film is you have absolutely no idea what will happen from one moment to the next. 

 

everly hayek_500

Everly is intriguing from the very first scene: Everly (Salma Hayek), alone, bloody, naked, and terrified. This immediately launches a myriad of questions. What happened to this woman? Who hurt her? Who is she? Is she safe now? Before learning who she is or what she’s done, you care about her; simply because of the vulnerable state she appears to be in.

The great thing is that, moments later, Everly is no longer looking vulnerable. There are brief moments in the beginning where it seems this woman is going to run around with her cleavage hanging out of her lingerie, but that notion is quickly dispelled with the simple solution of giving her a jacket. The focus shifts from her body to the action.

It does become clear in the first twenty minutes or so that Hayek will spend the entire duration of the film in the apartment, but director Joe Lynch found very creative things to do with the space. Although Everly is confined to the same couple of rooms, the film does not drag on, as it does not need multiple locations for the story to progress. I especially enjoyed the inclusion of the security cameras in the apartment to show action occurring in the lobby, since Everly could not physically get there.

There are some unrealistic elements to this film, but they are introduced early enough that they work. For example, you have to accept that Everly is able to fend of dozens of attackers on her own when she does not appear to be a trained assassin. Some of the blood and gore is excessive, but in this film it serves a purpose, similar to Angelina Jolie’s killings in Wanted.

The best thing about this film is you have absolutely no idea what will happen from one moment to the next. It’s obvious that people are going to keep attacking Everly, but it’s impossible to guess who will arrive next, how many people, and how much longer Everly will continue as she sustains injuries. Every scene is exciting, and even with limited characters and space the suspense builds with every new moment.

I would not recommend this film to those looking for a deep, powerful story. Like many action movies, the story here is lacking, but the cinematography is beautiful and the action is very entertaining. Although all of the questions aroused in the opening scene are answered by the end of the film, the need for an answer wanes as time progresses. It’s almost exhausting watching Everly fight for her life, along with the lives of her mother and daughter, but not exhausting in a way that makes you want to quit. Instead, the more you see her succeed, only to be given more hurdles to jump through, makes you want to see her succeed more. You’re tired with her instead of tired of her.

There is some good character development, as well. I am not crazy about any of the supporting characters, but Hayek gave a fantastic performance. Every emotion came through on screen; her desperation was very raw and real. Everly is a relatable character on many levels; as someone with strong family values, someone fed up with their current situation, and someone unwilling to give up.

Everly is a lot of fun. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, and doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. This is a solid action film with lots of guns and lots of blood. Perhaps it isn’t the most realistic, but that’s not the goal here. It’s entertaining, exciting, and definitely worth seeing. | Samantha LaBat

Everly is available on VOD from 1/23, and will be getting a limited theatrical release starting 2/27.

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