“I see dead people”—surely a phrase familiar to most movie fans. Well, Solace isn’t quite the The Sixth Sense, but Anthony Hopkins sure can see into the future of dying people. The concept of the movie was intriguing, but the execution is a bit more clouded than the visions Hopkins’ character has. The movie boasts an array of well known actors, with Hopkins being the main man leading the charge.
The premise of the film is fairly straightforward, as in most crime dramas the detectives are on a mission to find a serial killer. FBI agents Joe Merriwether (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Katherine Cowles (Abbie Cornish) enlist the help of a psychic John Clancy (Hopkins) in search of serial killer. So basically Clancy has visions of everyone who crosses his path and he can see their future. That’s a fun power, right?
The first half of the movie is fairly scattered and doesn’t make much sense. Clancy has these visions of an ice cream cone, a bug covered hot dog, a baby bottle breaking, etc, all seemingly out of place. There’s also a lot of chatter that consists of Cowles pleading for Clancy to not quit on the job. This helps push the film into transforming from an ensemble picture to a movie centered on Hopkins. Somewhat surprisingly, Merriwether is used as a placeholder and stop gap character that doesn’t factor into the entire scheme of the movie. The cast was undoubtedly strong, but they weren’t utilized to their capabilities. It was hard not to wonder where Colin Farrell was or when he was going to appear.
Things only started to get interesting when the motive of the killer was discovered. The victims all had something in common—they were dying anyway. So the question arises of what it means to play God? It’s a devils advocate scenario that leans heavily in one direction (being that murder is murder). Once Farrell appears in the movie it’s too little too late, but he makes the best of his screen time. A movie that’s focused on a search for a killer quickly flips into a movie that’s about two dueling psychics attempting to enforce their agenda on each other. It’s fine in theory but needed to be set up earlier in the film in order to achieve the satisfying payoff.
There’s appreciation to be had regarding the ambitious plot and the reveals along the way, it’s the execution that flounders. This is a movie with a talented cast that ends up feeling misplaced. Was I entertained? Somewhat. The first 45 minutes didn’t grasp my attention, but the last hour slowly drew me in. The final outcome is formulaic enough so that it doesn’t feel fresh. Solace is one of those films that is just average at best across the board. No overwhelmingly strong feelings either way, with a few moments that were compelling. While not waste of time, but it’s not time used wisely either. If I had Clancy’s skills of predicting a future I would have envisioned that this movie wouldn’t be very memorable. Fine enough in the moment, even if it doesn’t have a lasting effect.
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