Night Hunter15¦ Blu-ray, DVD
Unlike many other actors dressed in Lycra, particularly those in the Marvel universe, Henry Cavill’s commitment to being the Man of Steel have been fairy flexible. This has allowed him to pursue other projects, such as this.
It’s a shame then that his X-ray vision couldn’t have warned him of this troubled script about a serial killer.
With his family life on the rocks, Marshall (Cavill), a lieutenant in the police force, throws himself into his work. Just as well, as the criminal element are certainly keeping him busy. He attends one crime scene, where a young woman is found on the back of a logging truck, leading him to believe that she was running away from someone.
Meanwhile, Cooper (Ben Kingsley), an ex judge, is using his charge Lara (Eliana Jones) as bait to attract sexual predators. When one of their entrapment set-ups goes wrong, and Lara is taken, he calls on the police for help. Luckily they find her, but she’s not the only one they find, the abductor, Simon (Brendan Fletcher), is caught by surprise too and taken into custody.
With their man behind bars, they think it’s a job well done, but when the chaos continues, Marshall starts to believe that there’s more going on here than they currently know.
You can see the appeal the story must have had to attract such a cast, including Stanley Tucci. So kudos to Brit David Raymond for that. But as Raymond also makes his directorial debut with his own script, the blame has to be squarely aimed at him for hits fuzzy execution and its many faults.
The script is akin to a jigsaw puzzle; when you look at the box at the finished picture you know what you should be expecting, but when you look at the puzzle in front of you, there are far too many pieces in the wrong place. The result is something that just doesn’t look right.
This sensation throughout disrupts any rhythm the film has, giving the flow a slightly erratic feel. It’s not helped by the inclusion of Kingsley’s character, an avenging judge who is now attempting to make up for all the criminals that got away from him. When the police are made aware of his actions, they don’t blink an eye.
And then you have the killer Simon; it’s implied that he is a very disturbed individual, who has not only abducted many a young woman, but also murdered them. And yet, there’s no tangible sense that he has done so. Certainly a few more victims dispatched would have helped balance things up. It’s a shame because Fletcher’s performance is a standout one, which is both edgy and beguiling.
Cavill’s cold fish shtick however, is less impressive. His character is woefully under-developed and two dimensional and could have certainly benefitted from more fleshing out. So he’s no doubt hoping to bounce back with the upcoming The Witcher TV series.
With a lot more thought and consideration, Raymond could have produced an intriguing dark thriller. As it stands it’s just too muddled, struggling as it does to come to terms with its own identity.