Benicio Del Toro did a great job in this movie, together with Justin Timberlake, they created a mid-budget mysterious thriller that we cannot get enough of.
It can be hard to follow in couple of scenes, but everything fits right back in it’s place towards the end, and the end is satisfying but also somewhat predictable. For more in detail review, keep reading…
A Journey into the Murky Realms
Reptile, directed by Grant Singer, is a Netflix procedural thriller that takes the audience into the murky realms of a small-town investigation, weaving a tale filled with intrigue and mystery. The film, penned by Singer, Benjamin Brewer, and Benicio Del Toro, attempts to entangle the viewer in a web of murder and corruption, manifesting through the gritty lens of a small-town investigation. Despite the atmospheric tension and the strong performances by the cast, the film struggles to carve a distinctive identity, echoing potential left unexplored and marking it as a journey through familiar terrain.
The Enigmatic Investigation
The film follows Tom Nichols (Del Toro), a detective who moves from Philly to a small town to take a detective job after his wife, Judy (Alicia Silverstone), and her ailing uncle arrange for Tom to take the position. Tom is immediately assigned to investigate the brutal murder of real estate agent Summer (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz). The investigation becomes complicated as it is discovered that former boyfriend Will Grady (Justin Timberlake) found her body in a foreclosed home they aimed to put on the market. The film unfolds as Tom delves deeper, revealing not just a murder but an entire system of corruption.
The Ensemble Cast
Benicio Del Toro delivers a captivating performance, flanked by supporting actors including Alicia Silverstone, Michael Pitt, Ato Essandoh, Justin Timberlake, and others. Del Toro’s portrayal of Tom Nichols is intriguing, capturing a man who has seen it all and just wants peace that won’t come. Alicia Silverstone, portraying Judy, Tom’s wife, is fearless and intellectually engaged, helping Tom work angles on the case in some of the film’s best scenes. However, the film falls short of making a memorable mark on the viewer, with some cast members, like Justin Timberlake and Pitt, seemingly struggling to harmonize dynamically with the storyline.
Style vs. Vision
Reptile is visually enveloping, with cinematographer Michael Gioulakis sliding his camera through imposing spaces, creating an atmospheric visual experience. The film, however, stumbles in carving a distinctive identity, finding solace in the shadows of iconic masterpieces like “Dirty Harry” and “Death Wish.” It strives to emulate the essence of renowned cop films from bygone eras but lingers unnecessarily in narrative pace, expanding a familiar tale into a two-hour ordeal, tantamount to an overlong episode of “Law & Order.”
The Unexplored Potential
The film echoes with unexplored potential and seems to be a journey through familiar terrain desperately grasping for an identity of its own. Despite the commendable directorial prowess showcased by Singer and Del Toro’s captivating charisma, the film needs cohesive and engaging storylines and a more dynamically harmonious cast. The film’s potential could arguably be unearthed through a more refined cut, focusing on the most exciting elements of the narrative. It teeters on the brink of becoming filler in the expansive cinematic domain, highlighting the quest for refined storytelling against the backdrop of ambitious aspirations.
Reptile is a procedural thriller that, despite strong performances and atmospheric visuals, struggles to develop a confident personality and distinctive identity. The film, echoing unexplored potential and familiar echoes, leaves the audience pondering its obscured potential and the possibility of resonating if executed with a sense of balance. It is a glimpse into murky waters marred by formulaic storytelling, leaving subplots unresolved and characters inconsistent, yet holding onto the possibility of becoming a refined piece of cinematic art in the thriller genre.