"Lou Diamond Philips & Kari Wuhrer; the review writes itself!"
I'm not sure what talent agency wrangles new movie gigs for Lou Diamond Phillips, but I'd be willing to bet that their motto is "We work hard for our clients and have no discernable clue what a good movie screenplay looks like."Here we have a likeable character actor who's been around for several years and has delivered a handful of truly memorable performances. (La Bamba and Courage Under Fire come to mind.) In between supporting roles in the stray theatrical release, Philips has been mega-busy these past few years starring in seemingly every low-rent carbon-copy cable flick to float down the pike.
Malevolent is yet another.
Culled from the most simply plagiarize-able movie concepts known to man, Malevolent tells the stunningly familiar tale of a cop and a killer who participate in some boring old "cat and mouse" schpiel. Not at all surprisingly, the villain is the cat while the clearly disinterested Philips (as a disgraced cop) plays mouse. Killer stages a bunch of tiresome killings, each of which are meant to implicate our hero.
Despite the murders being presented in such a way that ANY half-intelligent cop would smell set-up, Phillips quickly finds himself on the run from his own police buddies while desperately trying to track down the murderer before more bodies pile up. Junior Miss Ashley Judd (a.k.a. Kari Wuhrer) is on hand as a stripper (Stop hyperventilating; she's a tease here. If you want some solid Wuhrer skin, check out the equally stupid Spider's Web) who has had a few friends offed by the brazen stalker.
Forgive me when I say:
If there's one single segment of newness or originality in this film, it must have come after the end credits - because everything onscreen sparked another movie title in my head. I'll spare you the litany of movies that Malevolent uses as inspiration, but suffice to say that if you own one cable box - you've already seen this movie. More than once.
I'm sure the pairing of mega-watt stars like Phillips and Wuhrer seemed a can't-miss proposition, yet the resulting movie feels less like entertainment and more like a filmed competition of who can look the most bored onscreen. (Wuhrer wins.) Sure, you could flip onto Malevolent one night on cable and you could find it suitably entertaining for 90-some minutes.Or you could stop flipping and pop in a DVD of a movie you KNOW is good.