FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE YET TO SEE DEEP WATER, THIS IS A NON-SPOILER REVIEW.
There is so much about Deep Water that truly had me excited for what was to come. First off, we have famed director Adrian Lyne returning to helm a movie after over two decades away from the spotlight. And even better, he’s returning to the genre that brought him his notoriety… the “erotic thriller”. Then, we have Ben Affleck and Ana De Armas leading the film… and their chemistry just had to be dynamite, because the performers did end up having a real-life short-lived relationship that blossomed on the set of this film.
And lastly, we have Sam Levinson the creator of Euphoria, and Zach Helm who wrote one of my favorite films of all time Stranger Than Fiction, penning the screenplay, based upon a famous novel from the author of The Talented Mr. Ripley. So, there was more than enough here to get stoked for what Deep Water had to offer. Unfortunately, all of this culminated into a big fat yawn from me.
WHAT IS DEEP WATER ALL ABOUT?
Deep Water follows married couple Vic and Melinda, who at first glance would seem to have it all. The perfect house, the well-to-do friends, the beautiful daughter… but, not everything is all sunshine and rainbows in their home. Melinda is unhappy in their marriage, so to keep their family together… Vic has agreed that she may have affairs with whomever she pleases, just as long as she doesn’t leave him. But, as her lovers start to go missing or found murder, Vic becomes the prime suspect.
WHAT ARE SOME POSITIVES?
Now, don’t get me wrong. There is much to admire about Lyne’s slow-burn, let’s call it, drama. It is extremely well shot by the veteran director and our two leads are quite good. You can definitely feel their chemistry, all though it wasn’t as electric as I would’ve hoped. And the biggest compliment that I can give Deep Water, is that it most certainly got under my skin and at times, made it crawl.
HOW VILE CAN TWO LEAD CHARACTERS BE?
But, the biggest problem I have with this movie… is that our two lead protagonists, if you can call them that, are disgustingly vile human beings with little to no redeeming qualities. The only brownie point I could even think to offer, is to Affleck’s character Vic for mostly being a loving father. But, besides that… these two characters are reprehensible. I hated spending time with the two of them… And wished they would both just crawl into a toxic waste hole somewhere and leave all of the poor saps around them, to live their lives in peace.
Now, many films have succeeded with lead characters who are unlikeable. Take David Fincher’s Gone Girl, for example, a movie which you will not be able to help, but compare this one too. Both of the lead characters in that film were nasty. And they did some pretty awful things… But, the movie had so much more substance and something to say, beyond the likeability of its leads. Deep Water unfortunately doesn’t have much more to offer than what is on the surface. It’s not very thrilling, or intriguing, and it’s not even sexy for God’s sake… and it’s supposed to be an “erotic thriller”.
IS THIS “EROTIC THRILLER” THRILLING OR SEXY?
The arousal nor the thrills sadly never come to fruition, only the uncomfortable skin-crawling that I mentioned prior. And that’s really as far as Deep Water is able to get. I don’t want to give anything away, but I knew from the get-go if Vic was guilty or not as it’s made pretty obvious. So, the mystery is never there and in turn, no tension is ever built.
I had assumed that Disney and 20th Century Studios pulled this film from their theatrical Slate because it was going to be a very Hard-R. I mean this was directed by the guy who pushed the limits of the rating with 9 ½ Weeks, Unfaithful and Fatal Attraction. But, honestly, they probably just sent it straight to Hulu because they realized it just wasn’t worth the price of admission. By the end of Deep Water, I was left just feeling cold… and empty. Now, once again, I wouldn’t say it’s all bad, but this really should have been so much better with the talent involved.
Deep Water will be streaming on Hulu Friday, March 18th, 2022.
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