Movie Review: ‘Everly’
Starring: Salma Hayek
Plot: A woman forced into sexual slavery fights for her life.
No one could question Joe Lynch’s dedication to the B-movie concept. He paints with blood, bullets, and babes. He hits all the line items from a checklist bound to make the most casual viewers stand up and go “AWESOME!” Look no further than his LARP-ers turned bona fide demon hunters flick, Knights of Badassdom. Like Knights…, Lynch creates something that only seems like half a movie though.
Salma Hayek plays Everly, a woman forced into sexual slavery living and working out of a penthouse apartment surrounded by a bunch of sex slaves in their own rooms. Hayek understands the kind of movie that she is in and carries with her a sense of dark irony. She doesn’t let this stop her from doing some actual acting milking the role for every bit of desperation and strength of character she can muster. She is “entertaining” a group of Japanese gangsters when she finally makes her move. Sobbing, naked, and reaching for a gun she hid in the back of the toilet, she opens fire nailing all the gangsters and bringing a shit-storm of trouble down on top of her. A cartoon like rogues gallery of annoying villains come in and out of the room trying to take her out mainly consisting of gun-toting sex workers in sexy stripper costumes and mafioso security team. There was also the creepy “johns” that were there as customers. One such “john” was the Sadist, a torturer, along with his partner, The Masochist, a man locked in a cage.
It is this over-the-top weirdness that makes it lack any kind of punch. The only thing that makes it even the least bit refreshing is the fight scenes. Thanks to the growing popularity of mixed-martial arts and Jason Statham, every cinema tough guy nowadays knows how to punch, kick, and flip with the greatest of ease. Not Everly. And not most of her assailants. The fight scenes are dirty and sloppy in the best way possible. Everly has a fighter’s spirit but not the know how. Hayek literally looks like she is fighting for her life, and that helps ramp up some real tension as well as some of that real coolness this movie is searching for.
Everly is a tailor made “cool” movie. It has all of the “awesomeness” that you might find in a cult film, but it lacks a lot of the sincerity that those were made with. The attempt to force a cult following is transparent, and, because of this, it definitely causes a small counter-reaction. It just can’t live up to its cool movie brethren.