Apple TV+ keeps Charles Schultz’s legacy alive in the latest special, Snoopy Presents: Welcome Home Franklin. Raymond S. Persi directed the film, and the script was written by Robb Armstrong, Bryan Schultz, Craig Schultz, and Cornelius Uliano. An origin story of Peanuts’ most beloved characters, the film follows a boy named Franklin and his approach to making new friends.
Cult Killer is a murderous waste of time
The latest cinematic trope of a seasoned professional taking on a younger protege arrives from Saban’s films in Cult Killer. Jon Keeyes directs the film from a script by Charles Burnley. The film introduces us to Tallini (Antonio Banderas), a renowned private investigator and former Interpol agent on his latest job.
As he glances around the bar, he notices Cassie Holt (Alice Eve), a regular who uses her good looks to get men to buy her drinks. Unfortunately, this often leads to her getting into trouble with the wrong crowd. At the night’s end, Tallini comes to her rescue and helps her sober up. As a result, Cassie joined Tallini’s firm as a researcher and investigator. Several years later, Tallini becomes a victim of Jamie (Shelly Henning), a notorious villain.
Hoping to avenge her friend, Cassie joins the local police to investigate the murder while calling upon many of her memories with Tallini, which helps guide her decisions. However, when she crosses paths with Jamie, she soon learns that things aren’t as they seem, and there are many layers afoot in Tallini’s demise.
Cult Killer is a movie that heavily relies on the presence of a former A-list star and a protagonist holding a weapon to attract audiences. However, three weeks into the new year, it is a strong contender for the year’s ten worst movies. The film’s pacing is painfully slow, dragging on for an eternity. Even the action scenes, which are supposed to be the movie’s saving grace, fail to impress, lacking excitement and originality.
The script attempts to establish Tallini, the main character, as a father figure to Cassie, one of the supporting characters, by using flashback scenes. However, the narrative could flow better, making it easier for the audience to connect with the characters. The flashbacks feel forced and disjointed, failing to establish a meaningful connection between Tallini and Cassie, which leaves the audience with a sense of emptiness.
Shelley Hennig’s performance in the film was also disappointing, especially considering her leading role in the successful Netflix series Obliterated. I will give a minor kudo to the effort made by the writer to provide Hennig’s character with a justifiable motive for her actions. Still, her performance seemed disconnected from the rest of the film. I initially thought the script would paint some sexual tension between the characters of Cassie and Jamie. But their lack of chemistry hinders it.
Cult Killer is a letdown in almost every aspect. It fails to deliver an engaging storyline, well-defined characters, and quality action scenes. The actors in the film are collecting their paychecks while director Jon Keyes delivers another disappointing movie.
Final Grade: D+
Cult Killer opens in limited theaters on Friday, January 19th
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