Possible spoilers ahead!
Last Saturday, I was browsing Netflix, desperately trying to find something to watch. After several minutes without any luck, I spotted something: the 2015 Salam Hayek film, “Everly.”
Never heard of “Everly”? You’re probably not alone. I remember seeing the trailer well over a year ago, and being really excited by it. But with so many other movies out there, I just forgot about poor “Everly.” That was a mistake on my part, but I’m happy to say it is a mistake I was able to fix.
In “Everly,” Salma Hayek throws herself with admirable abandon into the role of an avenging victim of sex slavery held against her will for the last four years in a luxury high-rise apartment by misogynistic Asian mobsters.
In this movie, Hayek exhibits incredible ferocity in an ultra-violent piece. And she is by far, the best thing about the movie. I don’t think I’ve seen her on fire like this since her “Desperado” and “From Dusk Till Dawn,” days and if the film does anything right, it reminds us that now-49-year-old Hayek can be one hell of a presence when she is allowed to be.
I just wish she’d stop making those Adam Sandler movies…BRRR.
Anyways, “Everly” wastes no time going into carnage overdrive with at least 20 killings in the first 20 or so minutes. In a very stylish overhead shot, we witness Hayek, dig out a pistol and a phone stashed in her toilet tank and don a skimpy slip from her dirty laundry hamper. She then begins to systematically shoot the thugs lurking about that have been presumably beating her moments before (we only hear her agonizing screams while the screen remains black). Everly also takes a bullet to the gut during the relentless shootout, but that’s (believe it or not), the least of her problems.
In between arranging to keep her mother and her toddler daughter safe from harm and trying to contact a detective who promised to help her, she ends up having to single-handedly fend off a series of trained killers and prostitute assassins that pour out from other apartments in the makeshift brothel. They come and go through Everly’s door again and again after being alerted that a bounty has been placed on her head.
A period of relative calm follows so certain plot details can be elaborated upon and for one dead guy to briefly revive to provide Hayek with some human interaction. Through out all this, Everly is able to keep an eye on activity in the building via a video monitor and eventually realizes there is no escape while ever more threatening visitors arrive to kill her. Some of which include:
a vicious dog named Bonzai, and the Sadist, a cravat-wearing creep who brings along a half-naked masochist locked in a cage. Weird I know, but somewhow it all works.
Although “Everly” borrows from several other films like the original “Die Hard,” “Kill Bill” and “The Raid,” director Joe Lynch (“Knights of Badassdom,” “Wrong Turn 2: Dead End”) and writer Yale Hannon were able to smoothly blend a story about revenge, and mothers & daughters. They even made good work of the film’s gruesome doings and the vast array of weaponry that included everything from samurai swords to rocket launchers, to grenades.
“Everly” also features some great camera shots: like showing you the action in the hallway, but showing in through holes in the wall. In another sequence, the filmmakers used a panning shot to go from the action in one side of the room, all the way to a shot of the CCTV to show you even more action.
Another thing I liked about “Everly,” is that instead of going for a pure T&A movie (which would have been easy with the gorgeous Salma Hayek on board), they instead focused on the action and telling an entertaining story.
Every once in a while, there’s nothing like watching a trashy, all-hell-breaks-loose onslaught of blood, bullets and babes type of movie. But if you want a critically acclaimed movie, I’m sure there are plenty out there to choose from.
But plain and simple, “Everly” was just fun time. And I can’t ask anything more from any movie.
“Everly” final score: 8