Samuel L. Jackson is known for a lot of legendary characters he has played on the big screen. Some of the first to come to mind obviously are as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, the “hold onto your butts” guy from Jurassic Park, Carl in A Time To Kill, Elijah Price in Unbreakable, and most recently as Nick Fury in The Avengers. Most recently I watched Jackson in Meeting Evil. I want to call this an independent film but I am not sure if maybe it just was not released in my area. Anyway this is a crime/drama/thriller which co-stars Luke Wilson and Leslie Bibb.
Here is a brief synopsis of Meeting Evil’s plot: John just lost his job as a real-estate agent which adds additional strain on his life with how much debt his family is in. After his wife, Joanie (Leslie Bibb), leaves to take their two kids to the park a mysterious but unusually friendly man named Richie (Samuel L. Jackson) shows up at John’s front door with car troubles. While helping Richie, John hurts his leg so Richie practically twists John’s arm to let him take John to the hospital. Richie seems to have some other agenda and soon a generous ride to the hospital turns into a hellacious, murderous cruise that leave John frightened for him and his family. Here is the trailer:
Samuel L. Jackson’s is known for a lot of good movies, but this is not one of them. Meeting Evil is not nearly as suspenseful or thrilling as the trailer may suggest. In fact the beginning is borderline annoyingly shot with the unnecessary close ups on Wilson who’s expression does not change for a majority of the film by wearing this look of a droopy depressed man. Plus John just is not really that likeable. He could have been so much more real given his situation with all his debt and just being laid off but he really was not a good man. Practically yelled at his family when they tried to surprise him with a cake and was even having an affair! So at that point you would think you would have sympathy for his wife when it John felt she was in danger from Richie but turns out she was having an affair as well. But Samuel L. Jackson was honestly great in his role and honestly the only good thing this movie has going for it.
I normally do not poke holes in stories because every story has holes but this movie had so many questions that the frown on my face watching this practically turned to a glare. I never understood Richie’s motives or how he ended up at John’s door. Then there is how the police were even able to accuse John in the first place of possibly being the one to commit the murders. Or why did Richie even kill the lady at the phone store after John was there.
But one of my biggest pet peeves about movies is the music. I know that may sound weird but it has to fit the movie or scene or do not have it at all. To me silence is more eerie than high pitched music or escalating intensity. The feel of the film is nice it gives that rough and dirty feel but the music kept taking me out of it. The music is something you would hear in an action film, well this is not an action movie so it just felt awkward.
I was very disappointed with Meeting Evil and can barely give it a 4/10, again the only thing it has going for it is the performance from Samuel L. Jackson.