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.
After twenty years in prison, Foley is finished with the grifter's life. When he meets an elusive young woman named Iris, the possibility of a new start looks real. But his past is proving to be a stubborn companion.
Though it's been some twenty years since they have spoken with one another, two estranged soul-singing legends agree to participate in a reunion performance at the Apollo Theater to honor their recently deceased band leader.
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
There were times during Chris Fisher's Meeting Evil when I wasn't quite sure what kind of movie I was watching. The music, especially near the beginning, seems to indicate that its horror. The cinematography lends itself to art house aspirations, and the plot is a cross between thriller and noir. It became clear after not too long that the reason I could not figure out what I was watching is because the filmmakers didn't know either. And that doesn't help the movie one bit.
Luke Wilson stars as John Felton, a family man who has had the world fall in on him. He's lost his job, he's overdue on all his bills and he comes home to find a foreclosure notice on his front door.
His recent troubles are causing issues at home, with his wife Joanie (Leslie Bibb) expressing obvious frustration at their current financial situation. Everything changes when Richie (Samuel L. Jackson) knocks on John's door, asking for help with his stalled car.
One event leads to another and before John knows it, he's being led by Richie across his county, leaving murdered bodies in his wake.
It's a pretty straight forward setup for a crime thriller, but the film has so many problems that after a while, everything stops being tense and comes across as satirical. Having not read the original novel by Thomas Berger, I cannot comment whether these issues were present in the source material or whether they were introduced in the film. In either case, they don't serve it well.
Jackson seems to know the ridiculousness of the material because his portrayal of Richie is so amazingly campy that it is hard to fault him for it. It's more self-aware than it is bad.
Wilson on the other hand, is as vibrant as dead fish, bringing no sense of desperation to a man that should be desperate about everything that's going on around him.
The script (penned by Fisher himself), is awful, giving both leads, as well as the supporting cast almost nothing worthwhile to say, making the film's message yes, it has one totally nonsensical.
Add to that some dangling plot points that are never explained, a ridiculous twist at the end and recurring characters that add nothing to the plot (seriously, was there a time in this movie when that little girl wasn't outside walking her dog?), and what you have is a film that leaves the viewer throwing their hands in the air in frustration.
As a film Meeting Evil is pretty terrible, but as fodder for a Saturday Night movie watching party it might have merit especially if one decides to use it as the basis for a drinking game.
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