November 21, 2012

Review: Red Lights (2012)
(aka Elizabeth Olsen is Yummy)
Release Date: On Blu-ray/DVD now.
Country: USA/Spain
Written & Directed by: Rodrigo Cortes.
Starring: Robert De Niro, Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver and Elizabeth Olsen. 

We never caught this one in Theaters, then again, not many people did. It was one of those Limited Release deals that come and go in a flash, like a sex-addicted Postman. Plumber. Whoever the guys are in the Porn movies that come and go. I don't know.

We love Cillian Murphy around these parts, and Lizzie Olsen is one of our favorite Hotties, so naturally, we were intrigued by the idea of them both starring in the same supernatural thriller. Odd that those two piqued our interest more so than their higher-profile costars, De Niro and Weaver. Maybe we're just ageists.

Margaret and Tom are paranormal investigators that run around debunking fraudulent claims and people, especially those of the psychic variety. Robert De Niro is Simon Silver; a world-renowned psychic that has just come out of retirement. Also, he's blind... or is he? Elizabeth Olsen is window dressing. Pretty, sexy, window dressing, but dressing none the less.

That is about all she does in this movie.
Simon Silver's re-emergence sends Margaret into a tizzy, as he's something of a personal nemesis to her. When Tom insists that they investigate him and expose him for the fraud that they believe him to be, Margaret won't allow it. Silver apparently psychically killed the last guy who tried to defame him, and she wants to live!

She doesn't.
It's not long before Tom sets out on his own to debunk Silver, despite his mentors warnings. What follows next is a Mano y Mano showdown of non-epic proportions between the two, involving plenty of cat-and-mouse shadow play. We're not even sure what in the hell that last sentence means, but it feels wholly appropriate. Quiet mystery ensues.

"Would you like to see my mask? I use it in my experiments."
Red Lights is a well made film that is richly dark and subdued, and pulls you right into the story with its effective atmosphere. The story doesn't quite reach its full potential, only coming close to delivering on it towards the very end, but it's an entertaining journey none the less. It's also a thinker more than it is a shocker, so keep that in mind.

The cast is top-notch, and they do a great job with the mostly average material. Cillian Murphy is always fun to watch, even if he only has one or two modes in his acting repertoire, they are fantastic ones.

The twist ending is an interesting one, although it's not hard to figure it out along the way if you're paying attention. Is Simon Silver a fraud? You'll definitely know by the end. Thank you, Rodrigo Cortes, for not giving us the all too popular "leave it up to the audience to decide" bullshit ending that plagues so may genre movies these days. It was nice to see a resolution for a change.

Ever the consummate method actor, De Niro actually blinded himself to prepare for this role.
Why did Elizabeth Olsen have such a small and insignificant part in this movie? Sure, maybe it's what the script dictated, but as good as she is, couldn't they have fleshed her character out a bit more or actually given her something to do? She may as well be listed as "concerned love interest" in the credits, because that's about all she is in this one. What a waste.

"I know, right!"
There's a little bit of blood and violence in this one, but it's not prominent at all. This movie is not about the visceral.

This ass-kicking is about the extent of it.
No, and what a shame. Lizzy Olsen has been nakie in movies before, and there's no reason that they couldn't have added a scene or five of gratuitous sex and nudity here, just to spice things up a bit. Prudes.

Yes, yes, you can read. Tell me all about it while you disrobe.
Red Lights was a pretty good movie; it's well made, has a great cast, and the story is interesting enough, it's just a shame that it took until the end to pick up the pace and give us something exciting to chew on. That's not to say that Red Lights is boring, but it does shuffle along at a slow pace for most of its running time. Still, if you like slightly above-average thrillers, then this one should please you just fine.


Elizabeth Olsen is just too cute for us not to fawn over, and we can't wait to see her in Spike Lee's remake of the gritty South Korean classic, Oldboy. She'll be naked in that creepy-ass movie.

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