Review: Spinning Man

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller.
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Guy Pearce, Minnie Driver, Alexandra Shipp, Odeya Rush, Clark Gregg, Jamie Kennedy, Freya Tingley.
Year Of Release: 2018
Certificate: 15 (UK)/R-Rated (US)
Runtime: 100 Minutes
Director: Simmon Kaijser
Writer(s): Matthew Aldrich
Synopsis: “A happily married professor, known for having many affairs with students, becomes the prime suspect when a young woman has gone missing.” IMDB

 

This 2018 thriller, based on the novel by George Harrar, is directed by Simon Kaijser and stars Guy Pearce, Pierce Brosnan, Minnie Driver, Alexandra Shipp, Clark Gregg and Odeya Rush.Well-to-do college professor and family man Evan Birch (Pearce) comes to the attention of Detective Robert Malloy (Brosnan) when young student Joyce (Rush) goes missing. Due to a history where his charming ways have put a strain to his marriage with wife Ellen (Driver), Evan finds that that pressure Malloy exerts is one where he is suspected to have been involved in Joyce’s disappearance.

But Evan can’t remember if he was involved or he wasn’t. Fragments of memories come back to haunt him as the evidence stacks up and his marriage cracks – but he just can’t recall what his part in the crime was if anything at all….
This is one of those ‘streaming-on-demand’ efforts, with a decent enough cast to give it some weight.  However be prepared for a slow-burning thriller that never really gets to the meat of its own questions, or offers satisfying answers to what has been laid over the 90 minutes beforehand.

We are given a Pearce / Brosnan combo….see what I did there….with Guy going up against Pierce in a battle of wits. It’s not in your face action or intense ‘Memento’ style psychological drama, more of a crime story that we’ve seen before but somehow always find ourselves drawn to. Did the suspect carry out the crime? What evidence confirms this? What is the twist? Is he really to blame? You’ll find out most of this, but not all, when it comes to the conclusion.

Or, maybe you will.

I was left confused and under-whelmed with a conclusion that didn’t confuse me because it was too complicated, but because it felt so pointless and rushed and very “mediocre” if that. The set-up works and adds layer upon layer of mystery and doubt over Pearce as he is in the frame. With a fair support cast throwing doubt, hope and speculation his way from Driver as the wife and Clark Gregg as his lawyer, you never know what to believe.
And if you can get over the fact our former 007, who also produced this film via his company Irish DreamTime, looks like Colonel Sanders from KFC, then he plays a fair little role. He doesn’t get to do much or extend beyond a typical Irish police detective out to catch the criminal, but he has great screen presence and maintains a real calm no matter what the scene, confirming to us all that sooner or later he WILL catch the culprit.

Sadly it’s all a little un-memorable, a little po-faced and ho-hum in style and looks. It’s not flash, and it doesn’t try to be, but this does what you expect for an ‘on-demand’ film. A short and standard thriller that tries to be a little too smart towards the end that only leaves you wanting more from an outcome such as this.

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