Reviews & Counting
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The Voices(2015)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Marjane Satrapi

Ryan Reynolds/Jerry
Gemma Arterton/Fiona
Anna Kendrick/Lisa
Jacki Weaver/Dr. Warren
5 10
Ex mental patient Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) starts losing his beans again when he stops taking his meds which results in his cat telling him to kill people and his dog telling him to hang the Kibble back. Guess who he listens to?
Horror and comedy can be a tough juggling act to pull off (specially since humour is so damn subjective). Some films like HEATHERS, GREMLINS and even PARENTS manage to tap into both genres and deliver a unique and compelling blend, others, can solely pull off one genre or/and fall flat on their overtly ambitious faces all together. Sadly for me THE VOICES fell in the latter category i.e. what was the f-ing point of this film again? I genuinely didn't get it.

On the upside THE VOICES had a strong cast; Ryan Reynolds put out a potent ah-shucks like shtick but with a pyscho edge and also owned it when it came to his voicing of the varied animals in the film (right down to a freaking deer). His take on Mr. Whiskers coupled with the feline’s on camera performance had me smile more than once and was the top comical bit in the movie for me. Good stuff! Both Gemma Arterton and Anna Kendrick as the ladies in Jerry’s life also came through. Arterton made for an effective attention seeking and self centred beeyotch while Kendrick was oh so likeable as the “good girl” who has an earnest crush on good old Jerry. There’s something about Kendrick that makes me want to watch her, not sure what, but she's got that "thing". Moreover, the film was pretty grisly in places in terms of what it showed and what it implied. We had some nasty stuff going on here. Lastly, I dug the wackly production designs by Udo Kramer, some of the visuals hit home (nice use of wide shots) and the editing had bite to it now and again (all about the cat looking at Jerry bit, LOL).

The thing was though, I’m still not sure what the folks behind THE VOICES aimed to accomplish with it. If it was to give me an engaging character study... well... that didn’t work out! Ryan Reynolds lead character didn’t have enough vulnerability (like Norman Bates had for example) or of an internal conflict when it came “to kill or not to kill” for me to give a shite about him. And he wasn’t a “good” enough guy for me to root for him or find him sympathetic either. Was he an unabashed fruit cake though? YESSIR! So being that I couldn’t get behind the (anti) hero of the film; everything else was more a chore to sit through. It sure didn't help that the chain of events was redundant (kill, feel bad, hide body, kill again) and that the bulk of the happenings were mucho predictable, hence “surprises” were out the window.

And what about the humor you may ask? The animals yapping aside, there were no smiles for this twat. The all over the place tone and the mean spirited nature of the film played against the “levity” they were trying to pin down. I read that Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) was attached as the director during pre-prod and then booked out and Marjane Satrapis (Persepolis, Chicken with Plums and Gang of the Jotas) stepped in. That director swap may be a factor as to why this flick felt all over the place. So on the whole, I watched THE VOICES, it ended (with a barf inducing cheery musical number to remind me that YES, this was supposed to be a comedy) and now I’ll forget all about it. It didn’t move me enough, one way or another for it to leave a dent past me writing down this drivel. Not an awful movie, just a muddled and pointless one.
We get bloody stabbings, chopped off limbs, blood shed galore, diced up body parts, severed heads and more! What it showed and suggested carried impact!
T & A
None! Jerry loves chick's heads, not the other body parts for some reason...
THE VOICES didn't know what it wanted to be so it wound up being not much of anything. Yes, the flick looked slick, the yapping animals owned and the acting was solid all around alas, it still fizzled. It failed as a nuanced character study, as a horror film (gross out bits aside) and went limp as a comedy (talking animals excluded, Mr. Whiskers rocked). Looking at the marketing campaign that just kicked in for its release with all that pink and Reynolds' goofy smile, it's obvious they're trying to push this as a dark comedy. Alas, the flick wasn't funny enough to pull that tag off. Predictable, with a shizo tone on the other hand? Yup. Reading reviews out there, it looks like I'm in the minority in "not getting it". So who knows, maybe this will be your cup of blood! In my book though; I'm happy that I saw it and I am happier that I never have to see it again.
The flick was written by Michael R. Perry (Paranormal Activity 2).

This movie hits VOD and theaters February 6.