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2016-02-26 09:51

What it's about:

An FBI agent and a reclusive psychic team up in an effort to hunt down a serial killer in this supernatural thriller. As the case progresses, the psychic becomes more important to the case than he knows.

What we thought:

It’s sad to see good actors land up in a film they seem to have so little regard for. Solace started out with an interesting idea, but unfortunately inexperienced director Afonso Poyart did not know what to do with the talented cast that was given to him.

A grieving psychic (Anthony Hopkins) is pulled into an FBI investigation where a serial killer (Colin Farrell) targets seemingly random people. Leaving no trace or indication of motive, the killer is leaps ahead of the investigators, leaving behind impossible clues that lead to an elaborate game of cat-and-mouse. 

Interestingly, this film was originally written as a sequel to the cult classic Se7en, attempting to replicate the intrigue, elaborate crime scenes and moral debate of a superb film. However, that would-be intrigue was lost on predictable twists and clumsy writing, forcing the development of the plot onto the characters instead of letting it flow naturally. 

The idea of the script was probably what got big names like Hopkins and Farrell on board, but they failed to throw themselves into their roles. Hopkins appeared to be bored throughout most of Solace and struggled to stay connected to the other cast members. The lack of chemistry was deafening and this is a result of a director that was way out of his depth.  Farrell seemed to be doing his own thing, elevating himself above his role and also losing connection with the plot. He needed a strong guiding hand, and Poyart was not up to the task.

The big reveal of the killer’s motivation and how it ties to the psychic was also awkwardly executed, turning its lead into a hypocrite and the killer into a saint. In the right hands, this could have been a riveting turn of events on par with Se7en, but it fell so flat that the audience is left with indifference for the film as a whole.

The film tried to be more than a serial killer movie, asserting moral quandaries about suffering and mercy on the unsuspecting audience, but all the philosophising did was mask the film in a pretentious layer of the director’s ego, like a second year Philosophy student who believes he knows the answers to the universe. Like that student, it becomes annoying fast.

Solace is an unremarkable film that fell foul of inexperience and disinterest, and one should always be weary of films that make it to our shores months after its release in the US. This film is destined for the discount rack at the DVD rental store.

Read more on:    anthony hopkins  |  colin farrell  |  movies

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