There was this movie that came out last year, a small release, Everly, from Joe Lynch (who previously directed The Knights of Badassdom). It got mostly negative reviews from critics but having watched the new Blu-Ray released for the movie earlier last week I feel it’s a movie worth watching, at least once. Of course it does happen to play in to my own personal tastes as far as action movies go so not everyone may have the same opinion.
Selma Hayek is the title character, Everly, a woman who was kidnapped and forced into prostitution by a sadistic mob boss named Taiko. When the film opens Everly has finally decided enough is enough and sets about trying to escape. She gets her hands on a gun and just starts firing away at gangsters. She quickly learns, however, that escaping from the apartment complex she’s in will be no easy feat. Taiko has put a bounty on her head so every other resident is out to murder her as well as the variety of different hitmen Taiko keeps sending. Everly only wants to see her mother and her daughter that she was taken from 4 years earlier and make sure they are safe – she doesn’t care if she lives or dies, she only wants them to.
I do not know where this movie takes place. I know that it takes place at Christmastime as evidenced by the festive soundtrack and the constant use of phrases like “Happy Holidays,’ before a character murders someone. This “mob” however has American, Japanese and Hispanic members all in it. There are moments when characters are speaking only in Spanish, other times they are speaking only in Japanese. The rare times we get to see the exterior of the apartment it has a very European aesthetic to it however the cops are all clearly English speaking Americans. That is probably the biggest complaint I have with Everly, not knowing where it takes place and what kinda nonsense international gang this is. I don’t know much about organized crime but from what I do know it seems they’ve always been groups pretty consistent and proud of their race and nationality. Then again, I don’t know much about organized crime outside of movies.
Performance-wise the movie has what I feel was the most enjoyable role Selma Hayek’s had. She’s not my favorite actress but she’s not bad and excels in the right roles. Maybe I’m just bitter because I hate Grown Ups and its sequel so much I tend to turn my nose up at anyone associated with those productions. Selma Hayek does have a very strong accent and when she’s playing characters for where that accent fits, its great. Unfortunately she’s given far too many roles, serious roles, where that accent doesn’t fit at all and she comes off like some wild shrieking harpy which she isn’t. In Everly, however, Selma Hayek is goddamned gorgeous, brings a great deal of passion to the role, her accent fits with the character, and I think I already mentioned she’s damn beautiful in this movie.
The easiest way I can think to sell the movie is remember the successful The Raid: Redepmtion from 2013 and the coincidentally similar Dredd, both wonderful action films set within the confines of one apartment building. Imagine that but replace the heroes with Selma Hayek being sexy Selma Hayek. There’s not a lot of emotional depth to the film, and it has moments where it slows down far too much. It’s flashy and gaudy, has lots of exploitation feel to the first half with it’s, for lack of a better term, “whore battles.” It’s that flashy exploitation stuff I really like though, so I was motivated. As I said, the film catered a lot to my interests, which is why I happened to enjoy it a lot more than other critics.
The Blu-Ray came out just this past Tuesday so if you’re into that kind of action, give the movie a watch. It’s not for everyone, but for the people it was made for, the ones that want to see Selma Hayek beat up a girl in a schoolgirl outfit, they’ll like it.