Luke’s Lines: Solace Review 23/10/15 : the chronicle.ie

Luke’s Lines: Solace Review 23/10/15

| October 23, 2015

Solace is a new thriller about a former doctor with psychic abilities (Played by Anthony Hopkins), hired by the FBI to catch a serial killer. The movie had a bit of a convoluted history before it even began production.

It is based on a script that was originally going to be used as a sequel to Se7en, with Morgan Freeman’s character in the main role, but they eventually decided to use that script as a standalone film and Solace is the end result of that.

All Serial killer films must have a hook or gimmick regarding their villain and this one has an interesting one: a killer who kills his victims via a painless method, and out of a desire to prevent further suffering. There are many twists and turns in the plot as John Clancy (Anthony Hopkins Character) and two FBI agents, Joe Merriweather (Played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Katherine Cowles (Played by Abbie Cornish),  attempt to foil this murderer and discover how he is committing these crimes.

At first, I thought this would be a clichéd, hackneyed, affair, Judging by the way it started, with The FBI trying to vain to convince a jaded old man to come out of retirement, but it developed into something a lot more interesting then what the first impressions would tell you. Admittedly, the film does owe a lot to its influences such as “Silence of The Lambs”, with Anthony Hopkins even coming across as like a good guy version of Hannibal Lector at times. This is particularly apparent in one scene where John Clancy does a psychic psychological examination on Abbie Cornishs Character, Hopkins delivering a lecter-esque speech in the process. However despite that, this film isn’t actually a rip-off of any film, it’s a unique entity with its own concerns, as I’ll explain now.

One thing that I thought stood out about the film was its visuals. Whenever John Clancy has a psychic vision or whenever they visit a crime scene, the flashes of imagery that come up on the screen are surreal, striking, and effective. Some of it may fall under the category of generic spooky imagery, like the crucifixes of light that flash up in Johns Visions, but in context they work so it doesn’t matter.

Anthony Hopkins never overacts in the main role, he stays the focus in an understated and effective performance throughout. Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Abbie Cornish also give decent performances in their roles as the two FBI agents, meaning that you are never distracted from the changes in the story by bad or unrealistic acting from the three leads. Overall, this film is a decent and well made example of its genre and  worth a watch for the average cinema goer unless you find the subject matter weird or off-putting. For fans of murder mystery type thrillers or Antony Hopkins, it comes especially recommended.

by Luke Kennedy

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