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Seen it all before

Psychic thriller Solace is all too predictable

Will Gardner

Reporter:

Will Gardner

Seen it all before

Solace (U)
Running time 1 hr 41mins
Rating: *

FOR a film that boasts crime, drama, thriller and paranormal genres, Solace does remarkably well in failing in all of them. What is advertised as a tense and powerful fight between two possessors of extraordinary abilities turns out to be nothing more than a two-hour predictable snooze-fest, with uninspiring characters and lacklustre storylines. Solace follows retired psychic John Clancy – a dull performance by Anthony Hopkins – who is asked to help his FBI buddy Joe Merriweather ( Jeffrey Dean Morgan ) with ‘one last case’... yes, that may well have been an actual quote from the cliché-ridden film. In a shocking-not-so-shocking turn of events, it turns out the man he’s chasing is also psychic.

My biggest problem with Solace is that it shouldn’t have been a movie at all – it would be a great episode of a TV series where a psychic helps the law enforcement with a different case each week (The Mentalist anyone?). The best I could say is it would make a great season finale. However, as a film, the story didn’t have enough legs to keep youinterested for the duration and the characters were nowhere near developed as they could have been. This was no more evident than with the hard-working and determined Agent Katherine Cowles, Hopkins and Morgan’s begrudging partner on the case, strongly portrayed by the talented Abbie Cornish. There is a scene where Hopkins ‘reads’ her and you find out  interesting information that suddenly gives her character a lot of layers. But it’s never explored further. Her character development could have been spread over several episodes of a TV series and made more relevant to the narration. Storytelling was weak, the dialogue generic, the characters familiar and the storyline tired.

Up to this point I haven’t mentioned Colin Farrell, the antagonistic psychic the FBI are attempting to catch. Although used heavily in the promotion of this film, he isn’t actually in it much. When he is, he has a very good screen presence but not enough to mask what is a poor film. Solace had an interesting concept but failed to do it justice.

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