“Midnight within the Switchgrass” is the kind of crime thriller that’s so filled with cliches that it turns into one huge cliche itself. A couple of cops examine a serial predator earlier than it’s too late; a director tries to be taken significantly by throwing in a bunch of bleak materials; Bruce Willis exhibits up, barely. It marks the directorial debut of prolific producer Randall Emmett, who has given us a complete lot of shiny DTV junky motion pictures that look precisely like this one and now have Willis’ soul trapped inside them (just lately: “Out of Demise,” “Survive the Night,” “Arduous Kill”). The least cliché half, to be honest, is in how creepy this movie’s intentions are.
If there’s one factor that this movie loves greater than photographs of switchgrass blowing within the wind, ready for one thing, something, to occur, it’s photographs of younger girls being choked, tortured, and sure up, and many others. It is vitally good at making time for the entire above. Name it character growth for a film primarily based on an actual serial killer, however, the psychosexual stuff turns into brazenly gratuitous when it provides as much as little and takes up a lot of houses subsequent to probably the most rote cop plot conceivable. Alan Horsnail’s script is not precisely a James Patterson-like intricate investigation, neither is it about rooting for an almost bare 16-year-old to outlive her captivity. We’re hardly given any connection to her than witnessing her struggling, and the scenes unfold all through usually are not even wicked in an inventive style, in a means that efficient sleaze could be. However it’s what we all know a lot about—that this man Peter (performed by Lukas Haas) may be very sick, together with his sufferers our bodies scattered around Pensacola, their garments are hidden away for his sniffing, and Emmett desires to look at him.
In between the entire villainous stuff, during which Haas does show to be a stunning selection for such grossness, just a few broadly drawn heroes attempt to catch Peter. A Florida state cop (Emile Hirsch) is investigating a set of murders in and around Pensacola, involving intercourse employees and ladies who’re being trafficked. On the identical time, an FBI agent named Lombardo (Megan Fox) is working undercover looking for this killer, on the behest of her older accomplice Helter (Bruce Willis). In a few scenes for the followers, Fox is seen beating up and getting solutions from a pimp performed by her real-life off-screen accomplice Colson Baker (they met on set). These moments are particularly cartoonish, and whereas they provide little by way of successful battle choreography or cohesive modifying for stated scuffling, they not less than have a madcap vitality that in any other case doesn’t exist right here.
“Midnight within the Switchgrass” is blatantly stuffed with lots of scorching air when it’s not feigning cat-and-mouse; not even the costume division might muster greater than a pair of patches for Hirsch’s laughable cop uniform. There are lots of barking about jurisdiction, involving a second the place Crawford, his boss, Lombardo, and Helter have a “what are you doing in my crime scene?” meet-cute. Crawford isn’t presupposed to work the case as a result of it’s not his circle; Lombardo is not presupposed to work undercover as a result of “Operation Freeway” has been shut down, and she or he’ll get killed. They resolve to beat these issues associated with their employers by working collectively to catch Peter, her together with her online connection to this predator, and him together with his overly critical squinty eye line-delivery about how “no one cares about these women.” Guess what occurs to Lombardo?
This film is a skeezy, lazy lure, however, not less than Fox breaks out of it. She sits reverse Willis—who can’t even create an emotional consistency between two sentences—and she or he tries to deliver life-or-death cop jargon again to life. Your entire environment she’s working with is horrible, and amongst Emmett’s silly selections, together with Fox in his checklist of components to underestimate is probably the most obvious. Whereas “Midnight within the Switchgrass” reminds us why folks want tasks like this to remain related amongst their low requirements, it additionally affirms why Fox is primed for greater, infinitely higher tasks. She has the facility to make even one thing like “Midnight within the Switchgrass” resemble an actual film.
Now enjoying in choose theaters and accessible on digital platforms.