Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)

Movie Name/Year: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)
Genre:  Biography, Crime, Drama
Length: 110 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Ninjas Runnin' Wild Productions, Voltage Pictures, COTA Films, Netflix
Director: Joe Berlinger
Writers: Elizabeth Kendall, Michael Werwie
Actors: Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Haley Joel Osment, Kaya Scodelario, John Malkovich, Jim Parsons, Angela Sarafyan, James Hetfield

Blurb from IMDb: A courtroom frenzy ensues and sweeps 1970s America when a young single mother meets Ted Bundy.

Cat’s Point of View:
The topic of serial killers is one that many ponder with morbid curiosity. I can’t say that I’ve delved too far into that realm of trivia, to be honest. Part of me is curious how the mind of someone capable of so many depraved things works – the rest of me would rather not get into the graphic details.

Most shocking may be the duality that such criminals likely counted on to save them – because they were so normal-seeming to everyone around them. Surely average Joe next door couldn’t be responsible for the horrifying events. Wednesday Addams summarized it rather well in the explanation she gave for her Halloween costume in The Addams Family (1991) – serial killers look like everyone else.

Zac Efron (The Disaster Artist, The Greatest Showman, Beach Bum) gave a wonderful performance portraying the infamous Ted Bundy. His resemblance to the real-life killer was eerie and uncanny at times. He captured the dangerous charisma, intelligence, and sociopathic chameleon nature of Bundy rather well.

While there are many other well-known actors among this cast, and I couldn’t find fault with any of them, Lily Collins (Mirror Mirror, To The Bone, Tolkien) must be acknowledged for her stand-out performance. She depicts well the emotional torture of her character in the wake of Bundy’s discovery and unfolding legal ramifications.

Unfortunately, aside from the solid cast, this film didn’t have much to offer to hold my attention. I guess it’s not entirely my cup of tea. I enjoy the occasional biopic drama, or even the occasional crime procedural – this one just didn’t entirely float my boat.

I am curious as to why Netflix released this movie so closely on the heels of Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes (2019). The documentary featuring death row interviews with the convicted killer was released in January 2019. Only days later, this film began its movie festival run. While this film seemed to model quite a lot of its scenes post-capture on such recordings, I have to wonder if some of the mixed reviews are due to viewers drawing comparisons between the two.

All told, if this sort of true-crime drama is your ‘thing,' then Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile might be right up your alley. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 55%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 60%
Metascore – 52/100
Metacritic User Score – 6.5/10
IMDB Score – 6.7/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Cat's Rating – 3/5

Movie Trailer:

No comments:

Post a Comment