By Jen Heiser
Thrillers should put you on the edge of your seat, cause exciting highs, and loss of fingernails due to nervous biting. Beware of the Side Effects of this film as it may lead to constant rolling of the eyes, lack of enthusiasm, and drowsiness. If you do feel thrilled for a prolonged period of time or compelled to give rave reviews, please seek medical attention.
A young couple’s (Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum) world is torn apart after the wife’s psychiatrist (Jude Law) prescribes her a new medication.
The plot for this type of film should contain twists and turns that engages the audience, giving us whirlwind excitement at every bend. Unfortunately, it’s lackluster. Every note that should have been a surprise fell on deaf ears and blind eyes. While it had the bones of an exciting thriller, the execution just wasn’t there.
Mara puts in the effort and she does a great job but the character doesn’t connect with the viewer. When that happens, you don’t care what occurs to her or the reasoning behind it. You just want an answer to get it over with. Tatum’s portion of the film is a lot smaller than what the advertising claims it to be. Hoping to see more of his body of work? You’ll be sadly disappointed by just the one scene. Law puts in a stellar performance but the plot puts him and us through so much hell that you give up caring if he ever figures it out because you already did. The antagonist was so thinly veiled that it feels like the writers decided to make up their own definition of a thriller. A dumb but annoying issue was lighting. You can’t have a scene that takes place at night, that has Tatum explicitly say that it is night, yet the lighting was bright and sunny. If this is truly Soderbergh’s last film, he ended up a low-note.
The doctor is in and is prescribing you one thing: skip this movie.
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones
Who would like it: Those that enjoy uncomplicated thrillers