Malevolent is a direct to video release staring Lou Diamond-Phillips. The cast is mostly made up of film and television character actors. While not exceptional, this is not a bad film either. It’s one of those “innocent guy framed for murder” films with enough plot holes to make Swiss cheese. If you’re willing to ignore the incredible coincidences needed to pull off the crime, an ending that falls a little flat, and some rather obvious continuity flaws, this one is worth at least a look.
Detective Lucas (Diamond-Phillips) is framed for murder in an elaborate scheme for revenge. He must prove his innocence before the evidence mounts against him and before the real killer gets another victim.
The audio is a mixed assortment. Presented in an often impressive Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track, there is a noted lack of consistency in this film. For some reason I am at a loss to explain, the audio starts out with a dynamic and aggressive mix. The dialogue is clear and up front. By the end of the film, the score becomes muffled and the dialogue suffers. The looping of actors’ voices during some scenes is painfully obvious toward the end of the film. I didn’t get much response from my sub.
Malevolent is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. One of the advantages of a direct to video release is the source material is often cleaner. There is absolutely no evidence of film artifacts of any kind. The picture is always crisp and clear. Flesh tones are particularly impressive and you’ll find them near-reference quality. Blacks are not as pure as I would have liked, but I believe most of that was an intentional result of the photography.
None. Nada. Zilch. Zero.
Malevolent will make an excellent rental on one of those weeks when new releases are slim pickings. Lou Diamond-Phillips gives a pretty solid performance that plays out more like a character study. If you’re a continuity critic, this one’s worth watching to see how many of the plethora of mistakes you can spot. A particularly glaring one occurs in the final car chase. When the truck is driving down the sidewalk there are clearly two people in the front seats. Mostly prepare yourself for a game of “Catch me if you can”.