Review:  Even as an exploitation-vengeance film, ‘Everly’ repulses

Salma Hayek in "Everly."

The strained, hyperviolent shoot-em-up “Everly,” featuring Salma Hayek as a retribution-fueled sex slave trying to escape her apartment prison, feels precision-engineered for a morally torn fanboy who likes the idea of female empowerment but needs it served with a heavy dose of torture porn and glistening flesh.

Hayek is undoubtedly a photogenic dynamo, game for every dumb joke about dead whores (there are many) and wounded moan under the interminable captivity of a visitor called the Sadist. She was surely under the impression this would recast her as a hot-and-heavy badass.

But the overarching impression is that she’s dancing wildly to the trite, sick genre ammo being fired at her feet by screenwriter Yale Hannon and director Joe Lynch, a pair who should have spent more time studying what works and what doesn’t in exploitation vengeance fantasies. (Or maybe just gotten out more.)

Their pulverizing mash of carnage and sentimentality — there’s even an innocent 5-year-old girl (Everly’s daughter) crammed into the mayhem — is too calculatedly nasty to flip the switch in your brain from “repulsed” to “so icky it’s fun.”




MPAA rating: R for strong bloody violence, torture, nudity, sexual images, language.

Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes.


Playing: Laemmle’s Music Hall, Beverly Hills; Pacific’s Vineland Drive-In, City of Industry.

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