For his third film as director, J.D. Dillard adapts the 2017 biography Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice by author Adam Makos. The film shortens the title to Devotion and introduces audiences to the comradeship between naval officers Jesse Brown (Jonathan Majors) and Tom Hudner (Glen Powell) during the Korean War.
Shattered is a ho hum thriller
Thriller writer David Loughery continues to milk his bread and butter genre in Shattered from Lionsgate. Luis Prieto directs the film, which follows the story of lonely tech millionaire Chris (Cameron Monaghan) amid an amicable divorce from Jamie (Sasha Luss). One night Chris decides to drown his sorrow in some ice cream, and he encounters the charming and sexy Sky (Lilly Krug).
Naturally, Chris is thinking with the wrong head, and passion soon grows between them. Before long, Sky is living in Chris’s luxurious home with him. One night, a petty thug is attempting to steal Chris’s car. Making the mistake of thinking he is an alpha male and wanting to impress Sky, Chris tries to stop the thief. Of course, he gets hurt, which allows Sky to step in as his nurse quickly. However, Sky’s odd behavior makes Chris start to suspect that she has sinister intentions, mainly when Sky’s roommate turns up dead from mysterious causes leading Chris to realize his life is in danger.
Before he became a go-to writer for Lifetime movies on the big screen, David Loughery previously wrote the enjoyable Wesley Snipes actioners Passenger 57 and Money Train. In the 21st century, Loughery carved a comfortable niche writing the thrillers Obsessed, Lakeview Terrace, The Intruder, and Fatale. Obviously, Loughery loves the genre; however, his latest is one of his weaker entries.
I will commend the script for the realistic approach and background given to Chris, and Cameron Monaghan does what he can in our lead role. In 2022, it is not hard to believe that someone under 30 is a billionaire, particularly in the tech world. I also understand why he falls victim to the feminine wiles of Sky. In the role of a femme fatale, Krug tries to elevate the material as much as she can. However, I think she got the role more for sex appeal and less for her acting, as she has numerous nude scenes.
In the film’s second half, Krug’s side that is more sinister comes out, and she comes across more as a cosplayer than truly evil. Even worse, the usually reliable John Malkovich and Frank Grillo seem bored in their roles and are only here for a paycheck.
In terms of direction, Luis Prieto uses the style he used in Halle Berry’s Kidnap. Prieto never allows the film to overstay its welcome, but he also employs a pacing technique that does not offer anything you have not seen before. I am sure the cast of Shattered will redeem themselves in their subsequent films, as will the director and writer. Regretfully, Shattered is a forgettable attempt to modernize Misery or Fatal Attraction.
Final Grade: D –
Shattered opens in Select Theaters on January 14th. In addition the film is also available On Demand.
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