x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Horsemen

The director Jonas Ackerlund has shown in his commercial and music-video work that he is a supreme stylist

The director Jonas Ackerlund has shown in his commercial and music-video work that he is a supreme stylist, but so far in his film career he has made the mistake of being all style over substance. His debut film, Spun, had a manic zest and fast cuts but little else. Here he is more restrained as he ramps up the suspense - that is until it's time to film a torture scene that would make Reservoir Dogs' Mr White flinch - then he goes haywire. The trouble with Ackerlund is that he has yet to master story progression and, consequently, interesting characters quickly become unsatisfying. Detective Aidan Breslin (Randy Quaid) is suffering from depression after the death of his wife. He struggles to communicate with his children, especially his eldest son Alex (Lou Taylor Pucci). When a set of bloody teeth are discovered, it leads to an investigation into a series of murders that have seemingly been inspired by the biblical Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Breslin's conundrum is that he's constantly being forced to choose between work and family, and while it pains him, he chooses work every time. However, far worse are the awful performance from the Asian superstar Ziyi Zhang and plot turns that make no narrative sense.