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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

ONLY (Film Review)

                                 Starring: Freida Pinto, Leslie Odom Jr, Chandler Riggs

                                                  Directed by: Takeshi Doscher


  In these uncertain times, nothing says "coincidence" like a well-timed pandemic film to chew upon - hell, it's not like we all don't have the hours to pass blankly staring at a screen, be it large or small. The only problem with director Takeshi Doscher's gloomy virus film Only, that's all I seemed to be doing for the majority of the runtime - gawking emptily fish-eyed as the minutes ticked off the clock as a general sense of gloom & hopelessness filtered back at me.

 This slower than a snail-fart of a movie focuses on the not-so-overly-endearing couple of Will (Odom Jr) and Eva (Pinto) and their harrowing journey after an unknown virus that's taken to the air is shredding the world's population, mainly of the female persuasion. This sudden and virtually unexplained phenomena of falling ash is eradicating the very essence of life on Earth, and if you think that just the ladies on 2 legs are being cut out of the future's plans, you're quite wrong. The female animal kingdom is suffering as well, and it all adds up to serious money being offered for "viable and healthy" subjects to be brought in and help restart society. Now, plot-wise Doscher was surely onto something - my interest was most definitely piqued in this dystopian shit-show presentation, and with good intent...that was until the PLAY button was pushed. At the onset of this "outbreak" of sorts Will decides to turn his home into a sealed sarcophagus of plastic-wrapped protection, and Eve isn't all that jazzed about it - she's been cut off from society (Will's waning hope of saving his love), and there doesn't look to be a cure on the horizon.

 Eventually, the two take their show on the road, and Eve does her best to conceal her gender for fear of being hauled in as a test-subject, or worse. At one point a father and son duo are in hot pursuit (the son is the one and only Carl from "The Walking Dead" - Chandler Riggs in a rather quiet and un-impactful role). What acts as somewhat of a nice blend of initial storytelling are the flashbacks (and there are quite a few), but they can get a little tedious, especially in the movie's later stages - we see the couples' arguments, preparation...and even a little bedroom activity (eyes closed, ya pervs). While I can give props to both Pinto and Odom Jr for their performances, I sincerely couldn't have cared for either character's survival, which can have a detrimental effect on the ingestion of some films' backbones. Overall, the mood in this one is about as gray as the skies that were on display, and the scenery seemed to be the only plus that could help this ship stay afloat (not a lifeboat to be found either). At the end of it all, Only wasn't a terrible film by any stretch - it just needed to have its many rough edges planed generously until baby-butt smoothness was achieved...didn't happen, however. This was strictly a one-time watch, and I'm fairly positive that respective viewers would agree with the same - our current situation sucks enough, and we don't need it magnified on screen any more than necessary.

 FILM RATING: 2 out of 5

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