"'Reptile' Disappoints with its Unoriginality: A Review"wordpress,review,disappointment,unoriginality,reptile
"'Reptile' Disappoints with its Unoriginality: A Review"

“‘Reptile’ Disappoints with its Unoriginality: A Review”

An Unfulfilled Promise: Benicio Del Toro Shines in “Reptile,” but the Film Falls Short

In the crime thriller “Reptile,” directed by Grant Singer, Benicio Del Toro delivers a compelling performance as a calloused detective investigating a young woman’s murder. Del Toro’s on-screen presence is captivating, with his piercing eyes and hulking frame exuding a sense of mystery and intrigue. However, despite Del Toro’s magnetic performance, the film itself fails to live up to its star’s potential, succumbing to forced eeriness and a lack of focus.

A Ponderous and Unfocused Mystery

The film begins with a prologue featuring smarmy real estate agent Will Grady, played by Justin Timberlake, as he prepares a house, gives a seminar, and generally acts suspicious. After stumbling upon the mutilated body of his colleague and girlfriend, Summer, played by Matilda Lutz, Will becomes entangled in a web of deceit and intrigue.

As the lead investigator, Del Toro’s character, Tom Nichols, along with his loyal partner Dan, played by Ato Essandoh, follows various leads, including a malevolent figure lurking in the periphery, the victim’s shifty ex-boyfriend, and suspicious business dealings within Will’s real estate outfit. Throughout the film, Singer attempts to create an atmosphere of pervasive mistrust, with viewers questioning the motives of every character. However, this constant sense of unease becomes repetitive and lacks the necessary depth to truly engage the audience.

Borrowed Elements and Missed Opportunities

The film’s directorial agenda seems to borrow heavily from classic thrillers of the ’70s, such as “The Conversation” and “The Parallax View.” The mood of mistrust permeates every scene, but rather than building upon this theme, the film merely drifts in variations of unease that feel derivative and lacking in originality. Even the score by Yair Elazar Glotman, with its dissonant tones, feels borrowed from a haunted-house movie.

While Del Toro delivers a committed portrayal of a disillusioned detective, the film’s lack of coherence dampens the impact of his performance. Alicia Silverstone, who reunites with Del Toro after 25 years since their appearance in “Excess Baggage,” brings a spiky and sexy rapport to her character. However, the film often treats her presence as mere paranoia dressing rather than fully developing her character.

On the other hand, supporting cast members Justin Timberlake, Domenick Lombardozzi, and Eric Bogosian barely register as anything more than plot devices, failing to make a lasting impression.

An Opportunity for Improvement

Despite its flaws, “Reptile” manages to retain a viewer’s attention through occasional moments of tension and insight. If the film were to serve as the pilot episode for a brooding television procedural, its shortcomings could potentially be forgiven, with room for improvement in subsequent episodes. Nevertheless, the film still remains a disappointment, failing to fully utilize the talents of its cast and falling short of its potential.

Ultimately, the true star of “Reptile” is Benicio Del Toro himself. His captivating aura and multifaceted performance hold the viewer’s attention, even in the face of a lackluster narrative. As an actor, Del Toro has the ability to excel in crime stories and tales of the tense and unresolved, leaving audiences yearning for more. It is in films like “Reptile” that we find ourselves wanting to see more of Del Toro’s captivating presence, while hoping for a more cohesive and engaging story.


<< photo by Egor Kamelev >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.

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G'day, mates! I'm Greg Buckley, and I've been reporting here in the land Down Under for the last 15 years. I'm all about sports and culture, so if there's a footy match or an art exhibit, you'll likely see me there. Let's give it a burl together, Australia!

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