The Messenger, 2015.
Directed by David Blair.
Starring Robert Sheehan, Lily Cole,Tamzin Merchant, David O’Hara and Joely Richardson.
The Messenger is the story of Jack’s last melt down: a story of frustration and guilt, love and betrayal, family and blame.
There’s something inherently unpleasant about The Messenger, a half-arsed, vague reworking of The Sixth Sense. It may be the excessive subplots of which almost all go unresolved, or that the cast seem to yawn their way from scene to scene. Jack (Robert Sheehan) won’t be left alone by the dead, he talks to himself, he’s a troubled soul or something; we know this because he drinks and looks soulfully into his glass. His sister (Lily Cole) wants to help him, but how can you help a soul that can’t be saved?
You can’t, and director David Blair seems to not care. In fact, The Messenger comes off as a student film with an inflated budget. The choice of shots are questionable to say the least-they seem to use a misjudged drone for the most part-and the script could have very well been written by a first year film student too afraid at doing a second draft.
Credit where credit due to Robert Sheehan, who although lacking in any charisma does the most with an underwritten, underdeveloped role while Lily Cole, someone with whom the camera is infatuated, is given an unforgiving role as his angelic sister with a sort of drinking problem but who cares.
At only 101 minutes, one would hope at the very least the film doesn’t drag and it does, it really does. The pacing is anarchic, only the final five minutes account for something and by that point, who cares. Nothing gets resolved, only new subplots are needlessly created.
Rather valiantly, Blair teases the audience as to whether Joely Richardson is God (she’s not, she’s a psychiatrist) by throwing in a bizarre voice-over of which it sounds as if recorded on a phone at the very last-minute.
There’s very little to be enthusiastic about The Messenger. Watch The Sixth Sense again, wander around a cemetery talking to grave stones, call your Mum. The sooner we forget about The Messenger the better.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★