Plot: A serial killer is on the hunt, racking up kills and with no real leads, Agent Merriwether (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) feels like he needs to bring in fresh eyes to help break the case. His partner Katherine (Abbie Cornish) questions his choice in backup however, as he seeks out once famous psychic John Clany (Anthony Hopkins). She doesn’t put much stock into psychics and instead, leans on human behavior and psychology, but she goes along with the plan. Clancy retired after the death of his daughter and remains haunted by the loss, but Merriwether hopes he will listen and advise, given the potential for more bodies. At first, Clancy refuses to assist, but when he gets a vision about the agents, he soon arrives to lend a hand. He quickly pieces together new insights and is able to come up with viable leads out of thin air, thanks to his psychic visions and soon a pattern begins to emerge. But when it looks as if the killer might be an even more powerful psychic, can Clancy and the agents find a way to stop the killer and avoid the fate from Clancy’s visions?
Entertainment Value: Solace has an interesting premise, as a skilled psychic assists in a serial killer case, only to discover the killer also has psychic gifts. In the end however, the movie winds up as a run of the mill, middle of the road thriller, which is a shame, as there’s so much potential here. The narrative is capable, but never seems to ratchet up the tension enough and when the tension is present, it is often deflated or lessened by the awareness that some scenes are simply visions, which gives the filmmakers a cheap way to fake out the audience. This happens often, though not to an abusive level, but it still hinders the experience. Anthony Hopkins has the lead and brings a cold, barely conscious performance that is either just insanely restrained or wholly uninterested, either way not a great effort. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is clumsy and adds little, while Abbie Cornish is solid, but isn’t given much to do. Then Colin Farrell arrives and turns in an awful, ham handed performance toward the finale. Farrell’s presence drains what little tension the movie has built up, as he seems content to go over the top to the point it seems like an SNL skit. Solace still has some effective moments, but not enough and I’d say only diehard thriller fans will find much to like here.
A bath scene reveals some bare breasts and ass, not a quick scene either, so a solid piece of nakedness. A good amount of aftermath blood, but not much in terms of active, on screen violence. Some gun shots late in the movie rely on splashy, low end CGI, but we do get one nice shot of a neck puncture and a cool brain dissection scenes. Not as much blood as you might expect from a movie about a vicious serial killer, mostly just the red stuff with no visible cause. I found the dialogue to be pretty standard stuff, not bad, but not interesting or memorable. Farrell’s hapless performance shoehorns in some miserable bad guy banter, but neither the writing nor his effort manage to make it effective or at least humorous. Hopkins is kind of funny, as he has no reaction to anything and seems to be dead in many scenes, so I guess if you like minimalist acting, his work here is of note. No real craziness, which is a shame given the potential for psychic madness or at least some wild interactions between the mental athletes. No such luck, however.
Overall Insanity: 0/10