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‘The Postcard Killings’: Film Review

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March 12, 2020 11:00PM PT

Jeffrey Dean Morgan Is An NYPD Detective Monitoring A European Serial Killer On This Grisly But Uninspired Thriller.

There have been quite a lot of diversifications (primarily for TV) of megaselling writer James Patterson’s pulpy fictions, none significantly memorable, with the attainable exception of hit 1997 thriller “Kiss the Women.” However then, his books seldom goal for rather more than disposable leisure, so it’s apt sufficient that their display variations ought to comply with go well with.

By that normal, there’s nothing actually fallacious with “The Postcard Killings,” which derives from a one-shot 2010 collaboration with Swedish crime novelist Liza Marklund that hit No. 1 on the U.S. bestseller record. However there’s nothing very proper in regards to the British-American co-production, both. Starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan as an NYPD detective monitoring his personal daughter’s serial killers throughout Europe, this uninspired detour into impersonally business English-language terrain for Bosnian director Danis Tanovic (an Oscar winner for 2001’s “No Man’s Land”) ought to present Patterson’s followers and undemanding miscellaneous viewers with an acceptably slick if not-particularly-suspenseful crime potboiler for residence viewing. It’s getting a token stateside theatrical launch on 10 screens March 13, simultaneous with on-demand launch.

A trite montage of jittery photos suffices to convey the speedy grief, anger and binge ingesting suffered by Morgan’s Jacob Kanon upon studying that his solely youngster and her newlywed husband have been discovered slain in London. Worse nonetheless, they have been found with their blood methodically drained, corpses “staged” in a grotesque pose with some limbs severed and others apparently “borrowed” from prior victims. Famke Janssen reveals up simply lengthy sufficient as Jacob’s ex-wife Valerie so as to add extra histrionics, together with irrational blame-casting at him for putting the couple at risk by funding their European honeymoon.

COPYRIGHT_BP: Published on https://bingepost.com/the-postcard-killings-film-review/60314/ by Cecilia Jones on 2020-03-13T06:20:45.000Z

Vowing to seek out the killer or killers himself, Jacob stays on, pestering the British investigators, then touring to Munich, Stockholm and past as extra younger {couples} are victimized. Every crime is preceded by a cryptic postcard mailed to a journalist within the related metropolis. In Sweden, he types a kind of sleuthing partnership with one such scribe, expat American Dessie (Cush Jumbo), in addition to the native police. They finally suss that the murders are “staged” as references to numerous well-known artworks, sending a message supposed to be obtained by a rich albeit incarcerated artwork collector (Denis O’Hare) whom the equally dogged Valerie questions within the States.

In the meantime, one other fresh-faced younger American pair (Naomi Battrick, Ruairi O’Connor) are backpacking the Continent, seemingly susceptible to sketchy strangers like barely older, closely tattooed Pieter (Dylan Devonald-Smith), met on a practice, and the girlfriend who later joins him (Sallie Harmsen as Nienke). However this dynamic isn’t what it seems, giving “The Postcard Killings” its solely efficient plot twist at in regards to the 45-minute mark.

Whereas Tanovic dwells considerably gratuitously on the grisly finish outcomes of those serial slayings, the precise violence occurs off-screen, and given the character of its story, the movie appears oddly disinterested in emphasizing motion, worry or thrills. There isn’t even a lot in the best way of atmospherics, with the intense, shiny, location-shot look extra apt for tourism promotion than a story whose twisted mayhem owes appreciable conceptual debt to “Se7en.”

As a substitute, we largely get the often adept Morgan blustering round Europe as an Ugly American cliché. Jacob is belligerent and bullying towards native authorities he treats like amateurs, satisfied solely his personal rule-breaking strategies can catch the killers — which seems to be true, natuarlly. (In a typical little bit of pedestrian dialogue, he snarls at Swedish investigators, “You do what’s anticipated. I’ll do what’s wanted.”) As soon as recognized, these killers aren’t very credible, not to mention horrifying, and different figures within the competent supporting solid seldom get a lot character detailing. Second-billed Janssen is basically superfluous, relegated to some scenes as a long-distance contact.

There simply isn’t sufficient depth to the screenplay (oddly credited as being tailored from a previous, apparently unproduced screenplay) to ballast the “Woman With the Dragon Tattoo”-like tragic dysfunctional-family backstory that lastly emerges. And the movie’s ending on a observe that virtually guarantees a sequel appears presumptuous, to say the least. Nobody is prone to be demanding any followup, although Patterson and Marklund’s supply materials may be completely serviceable to launch a standard-issue TV detective drama sequence.

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About The Authors

Cecilia Jones

Cecilia Jones - Cecilia Jones loves to write about movies, music, and the most popular and exciting news.

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