John is taken on a murder-fueled ride by a mysterious stranger that transforms the weak-willed, disillusioned husband and father into a desperate hero willing to go to any length to protect his family.
The real estate agent John is down on his luck: he has been just fired from his job; his home has been sent into foreclosure; and his marriage is going downhill. On his birthday, his wife Joanie has an argument with him and she takes their children walking. Out of the blue, stranger Richie knocks on his front door and asks for help, since his car is not starting. John helps to push the car but hurts his leg, and Richie offers to take him to the hospital. Richie is inconvenient and along their journey, John realizes that the man is a psychopath killer that commits a spree killing everywhere they go. Then, Richie releases John on the road and tells him that he will pay a visit to Joanie and his children. Meanwhile, the police detectives Frank and his partner Latisha Rogers suspect that John is the serial-killer and they pressure Joanie to tell where John might be. Further, they discover that John and Joanie are cheating each other with a colleague and with a worker respectively. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Devil decides to torment a real-estate salesman
The plot: A mild-mannered doormat is bullied by a serial killer, who may or may not have been hired to kill him.
Meeting Evil is the kind of direct-to-video psychological thriller that audiences have come to expect from first-time directors. It's muddled and a bit confusing, but it has some interesting ideas. It echoes many thrillers that have gone before it, but the main influences seem to be Collateral and The Hitcher.
There's a lot of Christian allegory and symbolism. The seven deadly sins are frequently depicted, and Sam Jackson seems, until the very end, to be a clear Devil figure, tempting or killing all the characters that he encounters. Jackson is a bit hammy and over-the-top, as is usual in his direct-to-video movies. There's an element of psychopathic black humor to his performance, making it enjoyable and amusing. Near the end, a lot of the Christian allegory is abruptly dropped, and it becomes more of a straight-up thriller. I was actually a bit disappointed, because I thought I had the whole movie figured out, and then it changed gears into something even more derivative and predictable. Nevertheless, I was entertained, and that's all I can really ask for.
If you enjoy Sam Jackson's direct-to-video movies, then I'd recommend you check this out. It's not a great movie by any means, but it's interesting enough to keep your attention and has some great, hammy overacting by Jackson. The other cast members are also pretty decent. The directing is a bit scatter-shot and unfocused, but it's not particularly bad. Also, the Christian themes are a bit subtle and not very preachy, which I appreciated. It's difficult to recommend this movie to people who want something mind-blowing and artistic, but for its demographic -- easily amused fans of direct-to-video thrillers -- it's actually pretty watchable.
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