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An intense action thriller centered on a down-on-her-luck woman (Salma Hayek) trapped in her apartment, forced to fend off waves of assassins sent by her former lover - a dangerous mob boss who wants her dead after he learns she no longer is loyal to him. Desperate to be reunited with her mother and young daughter, she fights to stay alive fending off Yakuza assassin soldiers.
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FYI, Everly contains graphic language and graphic violence. Anyone bothered by such things will want to pass on this movie but those who don't mind or even enjoy such cinematic details (present company included) will love it.
It's a weird story and it certainly won't win any awards but these matters don't get in the way of the lovely Ms. Hayek's heroics. Her fans should enjoy this as well as most action movie fans. At least those who won't think too much about the plot or be disturbed by all of the bloodletting.
The film opens up with the horrifying screams of a woman being sexually abused. Thankfully, we don't see anything until a traumatized Everly, (Hayek turns in a marvelous performance) stumbles nude, into the bathroom. Physically and psychologically battered, she retrieves a gun and cell phone from inside the toilet tank. Everly attempts to reach out to an undercover cop who promised to help her escape. However, it's not long before the deviants are bellowing at the bathroom door for round two of their debauchery. So traumatized, Everly initially thinks of using the gun to end her life, instead, she surprises the rapists/mobsters killing them all.
Sitting in a room full of dead bodies, Everly is contacted by Taiko, the man who abducted her, and who kept her as his personal sex slave. It seems Everly stole a huge sum of money from him and attempted to escape, which led to his turning her over to his wretched men to use for their pleasure, and eventually kill. He quickly lets her know that she is all alone, as evident by the gift wrapped head of the cop who was supposed to help her escape. With death inescapable, Everly channels her fright and trauma into a single focus. She must stay alive long enough to get the money into the hands of her mother, who has been caring for her young daughter (the ridiculously adorable Aisha Ayamah) since her abduction.
The Petite Salma Hayek stands tall beside the male action heroes of the past, Schwarzenegger, Willis, and Stallone, as she manages to accumulate a pretty impressive body count. Besides the five rapists, she sends at least another twenty mobsters, hooker assassins and sadistic sickos to meet their maker before the inevitable confrontation with Taiko (played with creepy effectiveness by Hiroyuki Watanabe). Hayek has all of the charisma to pull off such a film without it seeming campy or stretching the realm of believability too far. Her natural sex appeal is an added treat for male fans, something that I found lacking in other female oriented action films such as Kill Bill and Resident Evil.
The film's cinematography (courtesy of DP Steve Gainer) is as breathtaking as Ms. Hayek
Director Joe Lynch, in his first turn with a major budget and star, offers up a film at neck break speed, pausing only long enough for Hayek's personality to shine through. Lynch also benefits from the expert hand of veteran editor Evan Schiff (Pan's Labyrinth, A.I. Artificial Intelligence) who effectively maintains the story below the non-stop action.