Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Review of BLACK BUTTERFLY: Solid Suspense

May 14, 2018

Paul Lopez (Antonio Banderas) was a writer who was suffering from a severe case of writer's block, causing him to be in dire financial straits. Frustrated by his bad luck, Paul got into an altercation with a truck driver in a diner, but another customer Jack (Jonathan Rhys Myers) helped him out of his bind. To return the favor, Paul invited this drifter Jack to stay in his house because of an impending storm. In the next few days however,  Paul was going to learn what Jack was really all about.

I always enjoy a good mystery film because they can come up with some pretty ingenious twists to play with your mind. A good mystery film can draw you in and give some effective unexpected shocks along the way. A mystery with only two main characters, like this one, is even more extraordinary because of the claustrophobic atmosphere it played. There are only two people to suspect. Only one or the other is telling the truth. This made the whole film more chilling and unpredictable.

The two main actors tend to play their roles in rather florid manner, with some pretty over-the-top lines to deliver (written by Marc Frydman and Justin Stanley). Antonio Banderas, as in many of his previous films, had some particularly hammy moments -- some laughable, some cringe-worthy. Jonathan Rhys Meyer had a very intense screen presence (as he always had) -- scary and threatening all the way. Both came up with morally questionable portrayals you really could not decide who was good or bad, or neither.

Overall, director Brian Goodman did a good job of keeping the energy of the story-telling consistently up and interesting. The puzzling dramatic interplay between the two actors escalated very effectively to a very tense head, and this was all at a lively pace. Everything was going along very well until Goodman decided to add another twist at the very end. I thought this was an overused and frustrating way out of a very tight convoluted situation the story found itself into. 

Anyhow, save for that final scene which was of questionable wisdom, I thought "Black Butterfuly" was a solid psychological thriller that made for a mind-twisting good time for me while watching it in the cinema. 7/10. 

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