Earlier this week Netflix reported its first ever drop in US users in over ten years. Many, including myself, are blaming this decline on the amount of poor quality Netflix original movies over decent movies from outside studios. So with this latest Netflix original, I can’t help but feel the pressure is on for it to be at least good.
The trailer looked promising, the story may not exactly be revolutionary but it looked like it could be an entertaining ride. All I can say is at least the team who makes the trailers for Netflix are doing something right because this movie is bad. As I said it’s a good idea for a story. Although I do want to avoid spoilers, the trailer pretty much gives away the entire plot anyway so I’ll just address what’s in the trailer. The film opens with a woman running away from a cliché horror villain chasing her through a dark area, she ends up being hit by a car and wakes up in hospital with no memory. A man then comes into the hospital claiming to be her husband and takes her home after her recovery. As the trailer spoils, all is not as it seems as the man who takes her home after convincing her he’s her husband is not who he claims to be… again good idea for a story (even though it was pointed out by the missus that it’s basically just a weak sinister twist on The Vow). It’s just a shame it was piss-poorly executed.
I don’t know where to start with this train wreck. The characters for a start are about as interesting as watching paint dry… actually that’s harsh on paint, I’d rather watch that. The acting is terrible across the board, nobody really shines here. I will say that Dennis Haysbert – who plays lead Detective Frank Page is at least a character you can warm to, though he does tick every cliché movie detective box. He’s likeable but comes off as dumb, the story does him no favours as it takes him and others around him way too long to put the pieces together. In fact there’s even a scene where a cop on his force is listing all the suspicious circumstances surrounding the “husband”, creating a true face palm moment. There are many other moments like this, one in particular is when Frank goes into a tattoo shop and gasps at a dude with a bullring nose piercing and says “Woah, did that hurt?”… THIS IS NOT HOW PEOPLE INTERACT IN 2019!
Brenda Song plays the stupid damsel in distress – Jennifer, who seems more than happy to accept the most painfully obvious photoshopped pictures shown to her by her pretend husband and doesn’t seem to think it’s that weird that he’s her only family, only friend or that he’s the only person she ever saw in her apparent previous life. She just blindly accepts that she never knew anyone and something like a social media account is just ignored by the writers. Also I found myself wondering why not a single other person bothered to visit her in hospital other than this mad villain. The film does explain what happened to her close family but it’s nowhere near enough to excuse the rest of this lazy plot. Again, just like the detective, she comes off as an idiot. When things heat up towards the end of the film she goes right back into typical damsel in distress, I’m talking full on Scary Movie here, and runs away with arms flapping in the air deciding to take the stairs wherever possible. Mike Vogel plays pretend husband Russell, with about as much expression as a plank of wood he easily convinces this moronic woman to stay with him and be his wife. There’s nothing about him that’s overly creepy bar one or two lines. He’s obviously a bad dude but lays it on too thick to the point where it’s just laughable at times.
Maybe the score can save this mess? Nope. Everything sounds like it’s lifted straight from a cheap 90’s TV drama meaning that at least the soundtrack is consistent with the awful writing and offensively bad acting. Oh and cinematography is basically non-existent, often feeling like each shot has had zero thought put into it. If there’s one good thing I can say about this movie, it’s that the story is a little interesting if you’re willing to switch off your brain, and some parts of it are so bad that I did find myself chuckling away so at least I was entertained on some level.
So with Netflix struggling and trying to convince viewers to stick around, maybe they should take this poor excuse for a film down before anybody else has chance to see it. Don’t let the half-decent trailer fool you, this is a mess. Maybe give it a watch if you fancy a laugh though.