The last bits of news for 2014 are in. Expect the flow of news to pick up once 2015 has entered our lives.
Looks like it aspires to be quite the cinematic spectacle. But will it be? I have severe doubts. The theatrically forced acting that has ever plagued the Dutch school of actors sure doesn't lend itself to this sort of film. The dialogue just feels as wooden as the ships the main characters are sailing on. Also, the FX are not on par with their British and American counterparts. They just don't seem real, but have an awkward level of artificiality to them. At the same time they recall a sense of stylized unreality, reminiscent of the paintings of the Dutch Golden Age, but I think that's just a result of the limitations of the budget rather than a conscious choice on the director's part. And speaking of director Roel Reiné, at least his acquantaince with helming action movies on a limited budget (though not with the finer entries of the genre, considering titles as Death Race 2 and 3 and The Scorpion King 3)) seems suited for the big battles taking place in the film. So far the same can't be said for his directing actors, which is not a good thing considering the stellar cast of this epic. At least they got
I'm much more excited about this one though. The Brits get better production values and acting on the small screen out of a lower budget (per minute, that is) than the Dutch do in theaters. The first season of Penny Dreadful proved a delightfully eerie and subversive portrayal of the rich Victorian age and a fabulous new conceptualization of famous literary characters. Even though the pairing of the likes of Frankenstein, Dracula and Dorian Gray at first sounded like a poor repetition of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, this series proved a far superior narrative. So far at least, as the story is far from finished yet and they can still muck it up in many ways. Whether that will be the case is not something you can determine from this teaser, which shows far too little of the upcoming plot progression (dammit!). In fact, it hardly shows anything we didn't know already. Of course, that's the usual stuff of teasers, creating awareness with showing as little footage as possible, to make people hungry for the trailer, which in itself makes them want to watch the series itself. Considering I was already aching for more when the credits of Season 1's final episode rolled, the teaser's job was already done.
This trailer, however, fails to get me excited for the final product. It feels like I have seen the whole film already. Of course, this fault is a result of the limitations of the movie's plot, as it doesn't seem to have much of that at all. Mobster boss' ex gets locked in her apartment and must fight off numerous assassins to stay alive, that's basically all she wrote. Unless there's some major plot twists at play that are not revealed in this trailer, this is one of those films you watch only for the action. It takes a pretty accomplished action director to get the most out of a small set like this though, and if the trailer is any indication, Everly's director may not be up to the task. I don't see any particularly innovative cinematography or editing here, just bland shots of people taking bullets. Nor are the characters colourful enough to keep the attention fixed. This film feels like a far cry from a similar vehicle like The Raid, though clearly inspired by that recent superior action film. Hopefully the trailer proves a misdirect and the final film has more to offer than suggested here, otherwise Everly might soon end up in the same bargain bin as Death Race 3 or The Scorpion King 3.