Directed by Peyfa.
With Melissa Leo, Bella Thorne, Jake Weary, Kevin Corrigan, Benedict Samuel, Adrian Martinez, Ivan Martin, Roma Maffia, Jasmine Carmichael and Michael Potts.
The story follows a theater actress, Lillian Cooper (Leo) whose son (Weary) dies mysteriously. When the investigator decides the cause of death was an accidental overdose, Lillian conducts her own investigation which leads to an unlikely alliance with her son’s (Thorne) former drug dealer. In her search for answers, Lillian hallucinates some of the iconic characters she has played on stage who serve as her inner voice, urging her to avenge her son’s death.
Assoon as revenge measure ends, the graphic screen “made by Peyfa” appears. At that point, I became instantly obsessed with knowing who or what a Peyfa is. Not because I think it’s a cool name (I don’t think so), but more to confirm a suspicion that what I had just watched was so incredibly and incomprehensibly awful (guys, I mean seriously that the one (this makes Bruce Willis VOD movies worthy of wide theatrical release) that no one in the industry would actually want their name associated with this project. It turned out that I was right (the director is one of the film’s producers, Peter Wong), and then I felt a little bad that the stars in front of the camera, such as Melissa Leo and Bella Thorne, didn’t can’t do the same. But again, this movie is so terrible; I’m also not entirely sure anyone deserves to be spared public humiliation given that they’re still about to be released (in theaters, no less).
revenge measure announces her incompetence right away, as Melissa Leo’s famous scene, Lillian Cooper, enthusiastically welcomes her rock star son Curtis Cooper (Jake Weary), fresh from rehab. Curtis has a pregnant fiancée named Olivia (Jasmine Carmichael), also there to celebrate his sobriety. However, a rehab sponsor also explains some ground rules, except we never see it. Nor is it a plot-related reason. The cinematography inexplicably cuts an entire actor out of the frame Melissa Leo was talking to. This is not the only time where the framing is stunning.
Either way, Curtis and Olivia overdosed later that night, which local detective Eaton (Michael Potts) confirms and cites as accidental due to a deadly strain of a hard new drug hitting the house. town. Lillian refuses to accept this, unsurprisingly choosing to take on the investigative matters. One of the many significant issues is that Melissa Leo’s performance is terribly embarrassing. And it’s not just that her mourning seems fake or that her actions are believable (and trust me, her plans here are pretty absurd), but that there are scenes of her arguing with theater managers about Shakespeare’s execution that are unintentionally hilarious and insanely crazy. space in every way imaginable.
Speaking of Shakespeare, Lillian also hallucinates trashy renditions of Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe characters she’s long mastered on stage, now giving her advice on murdering those responsible for Curtis’ poisoning with the drug. She also comes into contact with a small-time drug dealer and photographer named Taz (Bella Thorne), who seems to have been more than that for Curtis as she reluctantly assists Lillian.
Certainly the concept of someone driven mad by the characters they’ve played is intriguing, as is the greedy antics of a record company that sees an opportunity to make money from the death of the musician who won’t. ultimately nowhere. Corn revenge measure looks like a cinematic zombie. It’s not just the pacing that’s out of whack with every step, but the flow of the individual scenes themselves. There is not a single moment when anyone engages with the lines and the material. It sometimes feels like a student film that managed to attract some notable faces.
There are parts of revenge measure in crowded areas such as cafes where the sound mix is so unbalanced that you can kind of make out random conversations in the background. It’s also nothing compared to a sequence that sees Lillian following a drug dealer in such a cartoonish and fake way that it looks like a stealth video game where a detection meter should materialize and start filling up, considering that at at one point she may be three paces behind him as he talks on the phone. And that seems realistic compared to his master plan of killing people involved in his son’s death between onstage intermissions. Even if you wanted to ignore how excruciating it all is, the overall plot is predictable nonsense. There isn’t a measure of anything worth recommending here.
Scintillating Myth Rating – Movie: ★ / Movie: ★
Robert Kojder is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Critics Choice Association. He is also the editor of Flickering Myth Reviews. Check here for new reviews, follow my Twitter or Letterboxd, or email me at [email protected]