if you believe “violence is never the answer and what the world really needs is
more love and understanding,” just keep it to yourself. Everly does not have
time for warm and fuzzy liberal new age platitudes and we do not want to hear
them. She is simply too busy worrying about escape and payback. For several
years, she was enslaved as a prostitute by the Yakuza, but now she will try to
shoot her way out of their fortified brothel. It is not a well thought out plan, but at least she will be able to take a
lot of bad guys with her in Joe Lynch’s Everly
which opens this Friday in targeted markets.
used to be the favorite of the kingpin, Taiko, but not anymore. An honest cop
also lost his head over her. Taiko had it boxed up and presented to her. She
had agreed to testify for the late detective, but obviously that will not be
happening. Taiko’s men were supposed to do their worst to her, but she was able
to stash a gun in the toilet bowl. Bullets will fly—and they will keep flying,
but Everly is not immune to them. In fact, she starts the film pretty dinged
up, but she is able to patch herself up and keep going.
for him, one of Taiko’s bean-counters gets gut-shot in the first volley. There
is clearly no way he will make it. Much to her surprise, the dying paper-pushing
gangster offers her some helpful strategic consultation as he slowly expires. Acting
on his advice, she makes a risky play, arranging a pretext for her mother and
the daughter she never knew to pick up a bag of traveling money from Taiko’s
high-rise of hedonism-turned war zone.
their credit, Lynch and screenwriter Yale Hannon understand the point of a film
like this and therefore never cheapen it with a disingenuous take-away about
the supposed dangers of firearm possession or the folly of vengeance taking.
Taiko and his associates need to die—period. Frankly, some bits are rather
disturbingly explicit, particularly those involving the “Sadist” played by the
classy Togo Igawa (the first Japanese member of the Royal Shakespeare Company),
but that makes it extra satisfying when they get theirs.
should also be noted the forty-eight year old Salma Hayek looks all kinds of
dangerous as Everly. She is in tremendous shape and shows real action chops,
but in a grittier, less cartoony way. She conveys the well-armed rage of a
desperate mother, which makes each showdown deeply primal. There are real
stakes in Everly—and plenty of blood,
but her relatively quiet scenes with Akie Kotabe as the dying suit are some of
the film’s best.
We have often lamented the dearth of legitimate female
action stars in Hollywood and mainstream indie movies. It is so bad, Meryl
Streep has laughably been suggested for the female Expendables film in development. With Everly, Hayek blasts herself into contention to lead the whole
darned shooting match. Despite its obvious debt of inspiration to Gareth Huw
Evans’ The Raid, it is an old school,
deliciously sleazy revenge thriller that always delivers the goods right to
your doorstep and never expects a tip. Highly recommended for fans of exploitation
action, Everly is now available on
VOD via iTunes and opens this Friday (2/27) in selected cities.
Labels: Salma Hayek, Togo Igawa, Yakuza films