| July 6, 2017

After a 6 year relationship with her former astrophysics professor (Jeremy Irons; Die Hard With a Vengeance), Amy (Olga Kurylenko) discovers that he has passed away after a short fight with brain cancer.  While she’s devastated by the loss, she finds herself drawn into a mysterious investigation as she continues to receive messages and gifts from her now deceased lover.  Anticipating her movements for months after his death, these messages from beyond the grave give her an unhealthy obsession with understanding his grand plan for her.

Ultimately, the film has a really interesting premise that is not effectively utilized.  I think a more conventional way to go with a story like this would be to have Amy trying to figure out Ed’s (Irons) murder with him sending her messages that are him trying to keep her safe but also end up being clues to what happened and if he’d just left it alone she would be safe but he can’t help himself.  I think that could have been done really well.  Instead, I don’t know what this movie is trying to accomplish; I don’t see the point and worst of all I don’t see what’s at stake.  Why should I care that this character is dead, or that this woman is grieving him or why he’s arranged to speak to her from beyond the grave instead of simply telling her about his illness?

Other than Ed and Amy, I can’t tell you anything about any other character in the film.  Mostly because some of them look similar and none of them have any strong character defining traits.  One character helps Amy recover a destroyed DVD sent to her by ED and it turns out later that they work together, which I thought was odd.  Another four men are misogynistic asses toward Amy but those may all be the same character too as he/they come and go throughout and contribute nothing more to the story.

I do like Amy as a character.  It’s interesting to me that in addition to being a PhD student, she works as a stunt woman to pay her way through school.  This provides for a lot of visually interesting sequences of her crashing cars or hanging herself.  The metaphors of these scenes are never spelled out for the audience which I appreciated; they just showed how intelligent and capable she was and why Ed might be drawn to her in the first place.

Since most of Jeremy Irons performance comes over a computer screen, it’s hard to praise much about his acting.  He’s never not charming and it’s not difficult to see why the young heroine would fall in love with him, and for a while I thought he was cheating on his wife with her, but the woman I thought was his wife turned out to be his daughter and then I couldn’t understand why they weren’t just together all the time.

Ultimately the film has a series of great ideas that never quite land in a satisfactory way for me.  It is an interesting experiment that is worth your time if only for that.

Available now on DVD from 20th Century Fox

About the Author:

Joe Ketchum Joe Sanders is a podcaster, playwright, and college instructor in Kalamazoo, MI. He has a master's degree in playwriting and a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Western Michigan University, where he currently teaches thought and writing, and is the host of the Quote Unquote Guilty podcast, part of the Word Salad Network.
Filed in: Video and DVD

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