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  • Don Ford

Don Reviews "You Were Never Really Here"

What would you do if someone harms one of the ones you love? Would you let the justice system take its course or would you try to get your own proverbial pound of flesh? Legally, it may not be the right thing, but there are some people who would be willing to do what they feel is the right thing regardless.

“You Were Never Really Here” is the new film written for the screen and directed by Lynne Ramsay (Swimmer, Kill the Day). Starring Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator, Her), Judith Roberts (Death Sentence, Eraserhead), Ekaterina Samsonov (The Ticket, Anesthesia), John Doman (Mystic River, Mercury Rising), Alex Manette (Shame, Jane Got a Gun), Alessandro Nivola (American Hustle, Jurassic park III), and Frank Pando (The Visitor, Money Monster), it is the story of Joe ( Phoenix ), a vet who has found life after the service as a hired gun finding young kidnapped girls. His job operates outside of the law given his methods, and when he is given a new task to save the daughter of a state senator running for Lieutenant Governor, he gets caught up in a scandal where the real bad guys will cover it up by any means necessary.

This film has a very ‘70s, dark look, which really enhanced the film. When it comes to the acting, this is Phoenix’s film pretty much alone with the supporting cast in a scene or two here and there. Given the roles that Phoenix tends to play, he plays a man on mission who may be a couple of cans short of a six-pack mentally due to his experiences, shown in pieces as the film goes on. He does not do much talking in this film and his actions do the work effectively.

“You Were Never Really Here” is only about ninety minutes long, but it flows well and kept me interested. There is violence here, both obvious and inferred, and it did bug me a little where the film would flash back to try to tell the backstory because it happens very fast and at times when I did not expect it. I also found the ending to be a bit confusing because there are things that are going on in the story but ended up being in Joe’s head. Overall, I did like the film and I will recommend it as a matinee showing in the theaters.

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