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Solace Review


Originating from a re-written script earmarked as a possible sequel to Seven, Solace has been doing the rounds in Hollywood since 2002, and while it went in front of the camera in 2013, the supernatural thriller has been sitting on the shelf until now. But considering the final product that has reached our screens, maybe it should have stayed there.

The first English language film from Brazilian director Alfonso Poyart, Solace is a dark and stylish affair, with some neat flourishes at least taking your mind off the ridiculous story of psychic doctor John Clancy (Anthony Hopkins) brought out of self imposed retirement to help the FBI search for a serial killer Charles (Colin Farrell). While anyone who has seen the trailer, or even glanced at the poster as they walked into the cinema, already knows this, the movie takes its time to reveal the big twist: Charles is also a psychic, putting him one step ahead of the John and the FBI at all times. Seriously, it’s laughable at how much they drip feed us this information as that is probably the main hook that would make people go see this.

Attempting to have it’s cake and eat it too, Solace doubles down on the grit and realism making for a very uneven affair when dealing with the more out there elements of the plot. Poyart goes overboard with the editing, inserting art house-esque visions and neon crosses when ever he needs to get from one plot point to another, and his insistence on zooming in when there is no need to is just frustrating. He does at least have some fun with John and Charles’ powers, such as seeing the multiple paths a person could take all at once, but this proves to be the only interesting thing here, as the overcooked story makes this unbearable at times.

From the opening scene, the cliches hit you hard and fast (a personal tragedy that made John cut himself off from the world? Check. The hard-nosed FBI agent who dismisses John’s abilities as bunkum? You betcha!. The overly elaborate crime scenes? Of course!!), and you will find the characters playing catch up as you’ve probably figured out where the story will end up long before they hit upon the all-important case breaking clue. While Solace may be far removed from the Seven sequel it began life as, certain elements from that far superior thriller do bleed through, especially the reason behind Charles’ crusade and the fact that Farrell doesn’t make his presence felt till the third act.

Hopkins continues his recent trend of hamming it up big time with every movie he’s in, but he proves to steal every scene he’s in by virtue of the fact that he’s the only actor actually doing anything. Jeffery Dean Morgan and Abbie Cornish sleepwalk their way through proceedings as the FBI agents who bring John in, and when Farrell finally has something to say, he just spouts cliched line after cliched line, the mysterious character built up for an hour just becoming the usual wacko serial killer.

Cliched and utterly predictable, Solace tries to emulate much better examples of the serial killer genre, but fails miserably.


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The Movie Bit: Solace Review
Solace Review
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