Starring Salma Hayek
“Kill Bill” redefined the female action genre over a decade ago, now in 2015 filmmakers are still trying to recapture what Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman delivered. “Lucy” disappointed last year, and “Everly” is this latest attempt to combine sexy women and violence. It isn’t that we don’t want to see someone like Oscar nominated actress Selma Hayak (“Frida”) in a strong action film, we do! It’s that she deserves a better script than a woman raped and enslaved, forced to kill her way out to protect her daughter wearing only a nighty and leopard stiletto heels.
“You will die in that room tonight,” Taiko (Hiroyuki Watanabe) tells Everly (Hayak) over the phone. Locked in a fancy apartment, heavily guarded with no way out, Everly after being brutalized and shot, must outsmart and outgun all of Taiko’s henchman. Held captive for over 4 years, separated from her daughter, Everly uses superwoman strength to find ways and a heavy dose of luck to stay alive. Taiko seems to have unlimited resources, but every person Everly kills, is another weapon in her arsenal. Machine guns, grenades, rocket launchers, killer-dogs even a battle with a sadist await Everly before she can assure her young daughter’s safety.
This might be the first time I have ever gotten annoyed at seeing too much blood.
The violence is super realized, comic book and or video game rendered. It might be completely unrealistic in every way especially since Everly almost always seems to have a way out, but at least they get the color of the blood right. Christmas music plays in the background while bodies are brutalized and mutilated. True irony seems to evade first time screenwriter Yale Hannon, as director Joe Lynch (“Knights of Badassdom”) just simply follows the mayhem. Salma Hayek isn’t good or bad in this role, she is lost in it, her body is on screen but this isn’t a return to her “Desperado” butt kicking days, this is an assassination of honorable female action heroes.
“Kill Bill” was a hit because Tarantino is clever, not only with his stylized action violence but with the script and the creative characters. “Smoking will kill you,” Everly says giving a dying man his cigarette. The closest line to honest irony is when Everly’s mother screeches “this is no tele novella”, because it is likely a male centered version of a novella. This might be the first time I have ever gotten annoyed at seeing too much blood. The cinematography seems more interested in capturing every blood drop, splatter, or shower than anything else. “Everly” boils down to a nearly insufferable 90 minute action stunt that provides lifeless entertainment.
Salma Hayek’s latest action endeavor proves to be a bloody garbage disposal mess.