When I saw the trailer for EVERLY the first thing that came to mind was KILL BILL. Okay, we have a bad ass assassin played by the beautiful Salma Hayek, who is held up in an apartment killing a bunch of bad guys. Sold! Here movie, take my money! What impressed me more was that come to find out the Everly character wasn't an assassin, but yet a sex worker turned slave trying to get out of a dire situation and save her daughter. I was so set on her just being a professional killer, but instead got a far more interesting character.
While the film is a grindhouse shoot em up, director Joe Lynch messes with conventions of the action genre making EVERLY feel a bit original. In other words, he zigs when you think he's going to zag. Another hint of originality is the mash up of eastern influence. It's amazing how influential THE RAID and THE RAID 2 have already become. Another influence that I noticed was that of Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike.
EVERLY opens up with the characters knowing everything and us the audience knowing nothing. All we know is that Everly is having the worst day in her life. It's so bad that suicide has become a serious possibility. But she is stronger than that and in a awesome fight or flight moment she kills every henchman in the room.
The story of her predicament begins to unfold when Everly receives a phone call from the gentleman who is causing all of the chaos. Apparently Everly was at one time Taiko's girl (as in sex slave). She wanted out but Taiko wouldn't let her. I guess once a Yakuza bosses girl, always a Yakuza bosses girl.
Everly even tried to get the police involved but of course that never works. For her punishment, Taiko tells Everly that he is going to kill her and her family. After begging for mercy not to have her daughter killed, Taiko agrees. Making Everly the only target. Surviving wave upon wave of assassins the evening concludes with an epic showdown between Everly and Taiko.
We're still only in the 1st Quarter of 2015, but I'm pretty certain EVERLY will be in my top ten this year. It's refreshing to see an action film of this caliber. Remember me saying that director Joe Lynch zigs when he's supposed to zag? We'll he does. I was on the edge of my seat most for most of the films runtime because things happen when you least expect it. Or a shocking death scene will come out of no where. Speaking of which, there were several times where I thought Everly's daughter wasn't going to make it!
I think my favorite scene though was the crazy and weird part of the movie where the sadomasochist showed up. It was like BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA meets Takashi Miike. Super weird and total grindhouse.
If you're a fan of action films then I highly recommend EVERLY.