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Solace review

I was a big fan of the X-Files –  back in the days before whole-scale internet access, it was the catalyst for a dozen paranoid thoughts and conspiracy whispers. It spawned a highly regarded, but little remembered, show called Millennium. This was a darker show. A show about the depths of despair and fatalism. They made one good X-Files movie and it was called The Mothman Prophecies. Watching the trailer for Solace, I was hit with the thought that this is a Millennium movie – albeit, like Mothman, not Chris Carter and not actually that universe.

Watch the trailer and you might get what I mean…

 

Apparently, Solace started out as a script sequel to that other 90/00s chunk of darkness, Se7en. Maybe the religious iconography of Solace is there to expunge the clear development hell that Solace has sat in for a decade! What we are given is a mildly trope-heavy narrative that does veer towards predictable. Don’t get me wrong though – this is not a bad thing, because what we have in Solace is a film for a fairly niche audience bracket, one that want to be entertained with hokum and darkness.

I’m going to suggest that you do, as we did, and make the decision to treat Solace as a lowish budget indie, one blessed with a cast who have come on-board as a favour. If you do then you can forgive the, at times, characterless scripting and the visual/ soundtrack mis-steps.

You could be churlish and say that this is an Anthony Hopkins by numbers performance, as a hermit brought in as an expert (and not by Jodie Foster) and that Colin Farrell has turned up, done his bit and shot off again, but both bring a precise and measured approach to the screen time they have – even if some of the script clunks in the earlier stages.

Solace review - Colin Farrell

Colin Farrell lets the visual imagery speak for him in Afonso Poyart’ Solace.

The central constraint of Solace – a serial killer and a psychic hunting him – is laid out from the off and accepted by all except for the cynical Agent Cowles (Abbie Cornish). It is typical “voice of the audience” stuff that is possibly a little superfluous given that with the VFX and editing of the dream sequences – the audience are probably already on-board with the premise. Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen‘s Comedian) brings some early-scenes warmth to Solace as the family man,  Agent Merriweather – a part that provides an echo to the human side to Hopkins’ Clancy.

There are going to be those reviewers who will undoubtedly accuse Hopkins and Farrell of slumming it in Solace. They are wrong but there will be snarking. Ignore them and go see Solace – if you, like me, are eagerly waiting for the return of The X-Files. It isn’t another Se7en, but then it isn’t being touted as it. If you don’t like this sort of thing then it probably won’t upset you but it may not be the best choice for a date night…

If you want a rating? It’s somewhere in the 7.5 s… Treat it as a low-budget film with some acting favours pulled in and you’ll have a fun 100 minutes.

 

John likes this sort of stuff. Mrs L likes this sort of stuff. John will quite happily watch re-runs of 90s show on sy-fi channel on the weekend…

 

Got an opinion?