It’s pointless to review Solace. How do you sum up a crime drama that you’ve reviewed so many times before? What else can you say about the lack of ambition in Anthony Hopkins’ recent roles? I’m at a loss with Solace, a new whodunit from director Afonso Poyart starring Hopkins as a psychic who assists two FBI agents (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Abbie Cornish) track down a serial killer. Imagine a very serious reenactment of that Saturday Night Live sketch where Christopher Walken touches someone and informs them of trivial details in their future.
This isn’t a joke, although this could act as a blasé comment on the regurgitation of crime drama conventions. I honestly don’t know what to say about Solace because I’ve used up my vocabulary to describe tired pictures like these. It’s a mundane movie that’s sloppily camouflaged by a superfluous style because it knows of its own flaws.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan doesn’t sport his usual charm, but he plays a suave persona most audiences have seen him play before. Abbie Cornish is unusually restrained, which makes us sad when we see her obvious desperation to do something bigger with her generic role. My readers should seek out Lavender if they want to see what Cornish is truly capable of. As for Sir Anthony Hopkins, when he’s not peering into the future, he’s simply wandering through the atmosphere – stoically collecting his fragments – while walk-on supporting actors make the best of their limited screen time.
If this write-up reads more as a tantrum than a proper review, my apologies. If you watch Solace, you’ll understand my frustration. It’s a movie that doesn’t necessarily need a title so much as it needs a number to be filed alongside other forgettable thrillers. Think of any cliché that might happen during a cat-and-mouse chase, think of any zinger you imagine an FBI agent who has seen everything might say. More than likely filmmaker Afonso Poyart and screenwriters Sean Bailey and Ted Griffin have included it.
What I won’t do is call Solace a waste of time – there’s a built-in audience for these cheap thrills. It would be wasteful, however, to keep you reading about how generic Solace is. I’ll sound like a broken record – the Solace of film critics.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie