29th Jan2021

‘Eye For An Eye’ VOD Review

by Kevin Haldon

Stars: John Travolta, Morgan Freeman, Robert Patrick, Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare, Brendan Fraser | Written and Directed by Francesco Cinquemani, George Gallo

I honestly don’t have a clue why I do it to myself… It seems like the more left-field the synopsis a movie has but it also deatures actors I’m into, the more I want to check it out. In this case the trailer features John Travolta doing some sort of accent I couldn’t quite place and even more exciting it looked like some sort of noir detective thriller complete with an old school narration. To say I was as giddy as a school girl at this prospect would be an understatement! Then the cast names started dropping: Famke Janssen, Robert Patrick, Peter Stormare, Brendan Fraser and Morgan Freeman. Tell me that’s not an exciting cast.

I really do wish Travolta would find his straight-to-DVD niche sooner rather than later. Bruce Willis has his action, Van Damme had his martial arts, hell even Nic Cage has his… well Cage is the exception! Travolta though seems to be struggling to find his market and when you go from mob boss Gotti to stalking Stan from that Eminem video for Fred Durst, well I begin to wonder if there is a Scientology rule meaning you have to be as diverse as possible with you film selection. Could Eye for an Eye be the movie that changes all this? Let’s see!

It’s 1978 in Los Angeles and we meet a private eye with penchant for drinking, smoking and gambling, Carson Phillips. He reluctantly takes a missing persons case (I think, it doesn’t really effect the plot) and ends up back in his hometown of Galveston. Phillips hasn’t been back home since he threw the big football game disgracing himself and skipping out on his sweetheart Jayne (Famke Janssen). Upon his return he finds that it’s all changed around town. His old friend Doc (Morgan Freeman) is the local kingpin; and has Phillips’ other old friend Sheriff Bing Walsh (Robert Patrick) wrapped around his finger. Then there’s his other old friend Slide (Peter Stormare) who, it turns out, is a degenerate. Something, something, something… investigation stuff and things; Brendan Fraser is a weirdo unrecognizable character but not an old friend. There is a shootout outside an asylum for some reason and Travolta’s real life daughter is in the mix too.

I can’t remember the last time I saw so much wasted talent on the screen at one time. Now this is not a negative towards Eye for an Eye because, considering the piss-poor execution of the plot, the movie isn’t actually all that bad. “But Kevin, surely that’s because good actors can shine up a bad turd” I hear you all cry but no, some of these actors are actually just too good for the roles they play here and – in the hands of someone further down the chain – these roles could have worked better.

Freeman is a bit long in the tooth these day but he is slumming it here; whilst Peter Stormare (poor mans John Turturro) gets nothing to do, nothing at all. Surprisingly Robert Patrick is working below his pay grade infact I would say Travolta and Janssen are the only two that fit this flick.

Having said all of that I did enjoy Eye for an Eye for what it was. I like the noir thriller genre, the sort of Deep South detective tale with mega flawed character driven arcs. For the most part Eye for an Eye does the important things right so I can’t fault that. Brendan Fraser is absolutely on the money creepy sleazy weirdo and Travolta is actually fairly solid.

There are way worse movies out there than this one and it is a good time, I just kind of felt like they went too big on casting. Which, by the way, don’t take this a a massive criticism because hey Cinquemani and Gallo rounded up this cast and that alone deserves credit. It’s just that for me some lesser names could of probably nailed this.

**½  2.5/5

Eye for an Eye is released on digital platforms in the UK on February 5th 2021.


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