No Man of God Review

admin August 28, 2021 Views 37

Amber Sealey’s “No Man of God” joins a protracted line of movies about Ted Bundy, far too many of which have fed into the mystique of the good-looking, charming, good sociopath, placing the serial killer on a pedestal. Her movie tries to sidestep {that a} bit by presenting not Bundy’s crimes or attention-grabbing trial however the days through which he was mainly attempting to speak his means out of the electrical chair, however she nonetheless cedes a lot of focus to The Delusion of Bundy that every part, however, he falls to the aspect. It’s due to this fact in some way damning to say that Luke Kirby’s efficiency as Bundy is kind of presumably the very best but placed on the movie—he’s magnetic and nuanced, however that turns “No Man of God” into one more undertaking that leans too closely on not simply the Bundy mythology however the supposition that he might have been residing subsequent door to anybody in America, and even an FBI profiler if he made just a few different decisions. I’m not right here to unpack the weird business of books, reveals, and flicks that have constructed up around Ted Bundy, solely to say that “No Man of God” doesn’t add sufficient to the Bundy catalog past a robust central performing flip.

Kit Lesser’s script works from recollections of FBI Agent Bill Hagmaier (Elijah Wood) and recordings of the very well-known interviews the younger G-Man did with Ted Bundy (Luke Kirby) from 1984 to 1989. Within the ‘80s, the idea of profiling a few of the most vicious sociopaths on Earth to assist the FBI to catch them sooner or later was first coming to gentle. John Douglas, the person who impressed Netflix’s “Mindhunter” is name-dropped in “No Man of God,” and the conversations between Hagmaier and Bundy in actual life reportedly impressed Thomas Harris, the person who wrote Manhunter and The Silence of the Lambs.

Wooden performs Hagmaier as a wide-eyed however assured younger agent, somebody who appears fascinated with Bundy but additionally unafraid of him and, importantly, in no hurry to dominate him. Brokers would come to speak to Bundy and attempt to alpha male him, however, Hagmaier tried to satisfy him on his stage, hoping {that a} completely different strategy might result in one thing, something about lacking victims to present closure to the households. Sealey and Lesser’s script additionally leans an excessive amount of on one thing darker, a suggestion that Hagmaier might have been Bundy with just a few completely different life decisions—or vice versa. That is frequent within the serial killer drama style to a fault—the concept that serial killers are extra such as you and me than we’d wish to consider. Scenes whereby Hagmaier gazes for a little bit longer than he used to at younger girls of the type that Bundy would have doubtless focused really feel trashy and insincere, particularly one particularly after one in all their darker conversations.

“No Man of God” is consistently sabotaging what works about it with sensational decisions. Sealey’s movie involves life as a literal two-hander, placing two actors in a room and letting them bounce off one another intellectually. At its greatest, it feels just like the form of theatre undertaking one would see in a black field theatre on a university campus. And that is the place Kirby shines, discovering simply the correct steadiness of allure and menace that fueled Bundy. Sealey frames him apparently too, typically inserting him direct proper of body, making him really feel extra aggressive even in the usually modulated dialog. It creates a way of risk although there actually isn’t one.

So it’s all of the extra disappointing when a techno-driven montage of darkish imagery kicks in or another alternative that feels cheaper than this film wanted to be. “No Man of God” in the end sinks into the shadows of so many related and superior initiatives, and it feels low-cost. It simply doesn’t have sufficient so as to add to the dialog or a robust sufficient creative POV to justify its shallowness.

Now in theaters and obtainable on digital platforms.

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