Solace

 

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A good yarn is undone by ostentatious direction.

   

Solace

Body count: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Luisa Moraes and Anthony Hopkins 

 

The bodies are mounting up. A young boy enjoying his ice cream, a middle-aged black woman with a liking for hats, a narcissistic wife with self-harming issues…

 

The victims have nothing in common – other than they all underwent painless deaths. As jaded FBI agent Joe Merriweather (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) fails to find a connection – or a shred of incriminating DNA – he calls on his old friend John Clancy (Anthony Hopkins), a hermitic psychic. It doesn’t take Clancy long to discover that all the victims had incurable diseases and that the elusive suspect is a humanitarian serial killer…

 

Whilst both stylish and compelling, Solace unfolds like a generic B-movie. The problem is that the Brazilian director Afonso Poyart is too eager to impress, his zooms, circling camera moves and self-conscious éclat proving to inhibit the film’s credibility. Even so, the script by Sean Bailey and Ted Griffin (and an uncredited Peter Morgan) does present some novelty and a number of surprises, while the three leads are eminently watchable: Anthony Hopkins enjoying his consonants, Colin Farrell flashing those dark, bottomless eyes and Abbie Cornish keeping her understandable scepticism in check. The symbolism may be a little heavy at times but for a grisly, standard-issue police procedural, it’s a good one.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Colin Farrell, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Abbie Cornish, Jordan Woods-Robinson, Marley Shelton, Xander Berkeley, Sharon Lawrence, Janine Turner, Luisa Moraes.

 

Dir Afonso Poyart, Pro Thomas Augsberger, Matthias Emcke, Beau Flynn, Tripp Vinson and Claudia Bluemhuber, Screenplay Ted Griffin and Sean Bailey and (uncredited) Peter Morgan, Ph Brendan Galvin, Pro Des Brad Ricker, Ed Lucas Gonzaga, Music BT, Costumes Denise Wingate.

 

Silver Reel/Eden Rock Media/FilmNation Entertainment/Flynn Picture Co./Venture Forth-Entertainment Film Distributors.

101 mins. USA. 2015. Rel: 25 September 2015. Cert. 15.