Everly got a bit of a critical kicking upon its recent cinema release. There was never a lot of love for the action revenge film starring Salma Hayek. On one hand I can see why. The film is all over the place in terms of plot and logic. One the other hand is it a kick ass piece of cinema. Sometimes that is enough.
Everly has been stuck in the same apartment for over four years. She was abducted and forced into the life of a prostitute. After a brutal beating she has taken all she can. She kills all of the men in the living room. Her abductor isn’t best pleased about this and the fact that Everly was just about to give evidence to the police implicating him in a whole host of crimes. Men are sent into the apartment to stop her leaving and Everly finds herself fighting for her life against almost insurmountable odds.
From a script that was on the famed black list, this is a movie that is almost non stop, brutal and bloody action. Everly is not a trained killer but more of an enthusiastic amateur. She seems to have a lot of good fortune in dealing with her adversaries. The sequences are staged very well with a variety of action styles used which definitely helps keep the audience engaged.
Salma Hayek excels in the title role. With dialogue that is less than impressive she is able to carry off her portrayal of Everly well. She does not get a lot to work with in terms of background so it is to her credit that she is able to achieve any sort of coherence. Action beats are no problem for her as her filmography is loaded with similar types of roles. I wouldn’t go so far as to say she was a female role model but she is the lead actor and does carry the film in terms of both drama and action.
Setting the action in one apartment, with occasional forays into the hall, is a bold move on the part of the director Joe Lynch. With limited space in use he utilises every part of the two rooms set up to great effect. There is some particularly clever, if subtle, cinematography which keeps the action flowing while never losing the focus with unnecessary rapid cuts. You are never in doubt what is happening.
As noted before, the plot is all over the place. Rather than just killing Everly, the abductor plays a game of cat and mouse with her. When she tries to escape early in the film the bad guys drag her back to her apartment and leaves her with all the weaponry still on the floor for her to use later. There are sequences where she is in a compromising position and manages to free herself in a non realistic way. This could be, and for some is, a barrier to enjoying the film. For me not so much. If you disengage your brain, it becomes a good way to spend ninety minutes. Sometimes that is enough.
Overall, a film that won’t challenge you cerebrally, but is worth a watch.