By Don Simpson | February 24, 2015
Director: Joe Lynch
Writers: Joe Lynch, Yale Hannon
Starring: Salma Hayek, Jennifer Blanc, Uros Certic, Andy McDermott, Togo Igawa, Hiroyuki Watanabe, Caroline Chikezie, Gabriella Wright, Akie Kotabe, Aisha Ayamah, Masashi Fujimoto, Jelena Gavrilovic, Dragana Atlija, Laura Cepeda
As if she has just been born into the film, Everly (Salma Hayek) is introduced to the audience in her birthday suit. Though it plays as an unabashedly gratuitous [male-]gazing of Everly’s naked body, the opening scene is presumably intended to represent a symbolic rebirth of sorts, as Everly takes the [r]evolutionary step from being a submissive whore and blossoming into a empowered woman fighting for her life. As a warrior, Everly opts to wear sexy lingerie with high heels, which she eventually realizes is far too impractical when facing off with an assembly line of assassins — booty-enhancing yoga pants and a tight tank top prove to be much more suitable for her newly discovered hyper-violent lifestyle. Regardless of what Everly is (or isn’t) wearing, fan boy genre fanatics are sure to get off on the violence — and unfortunately that seems to be Joe Lynch’s primary goal with Everly.
Sexism is disguised as an empowered woman who solely wants to ensure the safety of her young daughter whom she abandoned years ago in order to work in his high-end brothel. There might be a socioeconomic message buried somewhere in this story, but it is more like a lame excuse to justify Everly’s alluring career path. In fact, all of the women employed in the brothel are here for one reason, money; and they are selfishly willing to slaughter each other in order to make even more money. The women’s utter disregard for each other reflects the film’s message about the worthlessness of “whores,” using them as fetishized pawns to kill off in orgasmically preposterous proportions.
Where Everly does succeed, however, is in its clever one-location premise that functions like an inverse remake of The Raid in which the protagonist remains trapped inside of her apartment as wave after wave of assassins attempt to kill her. That said, the pacing and choreography certainly do not come anywhere close to the frantically frenetic energy of The Raid.