Rated: R for strong bloody violence, torture, nudity, sexual images and language. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: February 27, 2014 Released by: Radius-TWC
Salma Hayek is the titular cagey and hardy action heroine in this explosive, but exploitative Christmas-set (Silent Night is featured) tale. One quite stimulated by sadomasochism, perversion and visceral copiousness that doesn't really frame its creative, intense tracking shots with sharp instinct.
Still,Everly gets into the porn violence subgenre with enough stylized, if dated verve that may remind viewers of Die Hard and Kill Bill with an idealized underworld fabricated by helmer Joe Lynch and scenarist Yale Hannon that's like a claustrophobic variant on The Raid: Redemption. Here, minions have to traipse many floors to eliminate the oddly skilled call-girl Everly who is physically victimized at the outset and tortured later on.
She's in a spot of bother with her yakuza boss Taiko (Hiroyuki Watanabe) after turning information over to authorities that's under his thumb putting a $50,000 bounty on her head. Everly avers to avoid death in order to keep her mother and alienated (contact by cell phone) daughter safe as neighbors and allies look to cash in before an egress can be made from a one-room, if sizable flat.
Besides the influences of Tarantino, there is Robert Rodriquez who has plenty of experience with Hayek and it shows a little here from Desperado to his work with the meticulous former auteur in Grindhouse with his Planet Terror installment. The ultra-violence and threatening sequences don't have much inspiratory quality, more broad and familiar especially with blood spouting amidst villains and scantily clad hookers (Sin City did it better). The likely demographic may find it partially a homage to the work of more accomplished, disparate Tom Tykwer, Chan-Wook Park and Andy and (now Lana) Wachowski (who've devolved of late with their Jupiter Ascending).
In early middle age a still ravishing Hayek (Savages, Lonely Hearts) donning plenty of eye shadow and six-inch heels does her best to flourish and fire over insipid, leaden storytelling which won't mute some instances of nausea caused by all sorts of penetrating weaponry excessively putting too many, including the invitingly costumed, in a sanguine, senseless light.