July 24, 2013

The Quick Word- Evidence (2013)

Evidence is a police-procedural Thriller that dabbles  in the realm of Found Footage. It's nice to see a movie come along that shows what the police do with found footage for a change, and how they use its "Unblinking Eye" to help them solve a mass murder. Kind of a best of both worlds thing, you know?

Too bad it worked better on paper than it did in practice.

If you're a True Blood fan (which I absolutely am not), then you're most likely interested in this movie because you love Stephen Moyer, aka Bill Compton. Don't worry, he's good enough in this, it's the movie that sucks here.

I actually found this movie oddly entertaining on some level, which I shouldn't have, considering how sloppy and bland it is. It's not a total train wreck; it's more like being on a slow, overly-familiar train, which breaks down on the way to your destination, and and you end up having to disembark and walk the rest of the way. While walking, you die. Painfully.

So it's more like a train breakdown. Still, there's nothing really fun about that, is there?

A bunch of people are massacred at an abandoned warehouse out in the middle of BFE, and the only evidence that the PO-PO have to work with, is in the form of various videos taken with various recording devices found at the scene of the crime.

Enter Stephen Moyer as a burnt out Cop who has been on leave for some unexplained reason, wanting on the case, because "I need this!" Radha Mitchell plays his boss who tells him "you're not ready!," but lets him on the case in about 12 seconds, because the movie has to move along.

Along with a portly video tech (nothing cliche' about that), they sit down and begin to sort through the  "evidence," doing their best Police Procedural "OMG!" faces every five minutes or so, because everything in this movie is such a shocking revelation.

"Oh... my... God!"
The evidence in question is mostly footage of two chicks -one a wannabe actress, another a wannabe director- kind of documenting their lives as a sort of sizzle reel; because God knows movie producers want nothing more than to sit though amateur home movies as a means to find new talent. These girls get on a bus with a bunch of other random people, heading on a trip to somewhere, when the bus suddenly flips over in the middle of the desert! Of course cell phones don't work, and the bus has no radio, so the stranded group hikes to a nearby abandoned warehouse(?) to take refuge. Then, someone starts picking off people one by one...

You get the idea.

Like they'd honestly show footage like this on TV?
Evidence just has too many issues for it to be able to work as a good film. The plot is a bit rushed, and the characters aren't fleshed out at all, so in that respect, the movie feels very generic and even cliche' at times. The script is just weak, making the Police Procedural aspect of the film feel as if it were tacked on to the Found Footage side of things, "just because." The stale "taken from every Police TV Show/Horror Movie ever" The dialogue doesn't help things much either:

"He knew we'd be watching. He's challenging us!"
"This whole thing was planned."
"It's just been revoked!"

It all comes off as clunky and hokey. 

A lot of the evidence footage pixelizes far too often, which doesn't add tension at all (as I'm guessing it was intended to do), but rather becomes annoying and took us out of the movie even more so. The spinning camera (freeze-frame or otherwise) felt a bit odd too.

Scary, ain't he?
Steven Moyer does an admirable job playing a determined Cop (he really tries his ass off here), as does the ever-hot Radha Mitchell. Problem is, they don't have much material to work with, so it feels as if they just kinda showed up, read their lines, frowned a lot, and called it a day. True Blood fans will no doubt be upset that Moyer doesn't get to stretch his legs a bit more here, and so were we.

The twist ending, and the reveal of the killer and their motivation for doing what they did, just made me shake my head. I'm not going to spoil anything, but good lord was the payoff not only nonsensical, but almost cringe-worthy. This movie is a great example of why I hate twist endings.

Evidence is a great premise that is executed rather poorly. If this movie had been a TV pilot, it would not have been picked up for series.

"I'm only here because True Blood was on hiatus. I promise."
You can see how hard Evidence is trying to be clever; what with its combining two sub-genres and throwing plenty of red herrings at us, it really did try. In the end though, it's all just a painfully generic movie that could have been as clever as it thinks it is, had they given a better treatment to the script.

If you're curious about seeing this movie, I say wait for it to pop up on cable, and spend your rental dollars on something else.


Not even the hotness of these lovely ladies could make Evidence and good watch, and that's saying an awful lot.

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