Although still quite enjoyable, and better than several episodes of the show’s Second Season, “Sanctuary” is the weakest episode of Human Target‘s opening season with a bit too much of Indiana Jones (mercenaries, hidden art, a secret monastery) for its own good. Always a sucker for the ladies, “Sanctuary” begins with Christopher Chance (Mark Valley) being hired by the girlfriend (Sarah Smyth) of a reformed thief (Sam Huntington) who turned on his crew rather than see the woman he loves get hurt. Now hiding out in a monastery on top of a mountain the thief is unaware the criminals he helped put away have escaped and are coming for revenge (and a priceless artifact hidden for decades somewhere in the monastery).
It’s hard to make either a great or truly awful disaster movie. Even setting out to craft memorable disaster porn (unless it’s centered around a completely ridiculous premise like sending oil riggers into space) is a challenge. Bucking the trend of world-ending disaster films where characters are fighting asteroids, a new Ice Age, or the core of the Earth disrupting all life on the planet, San Andreas is a bit of a throwback focusing just on California, and, for the most part, San Fransisco. A more localized disaster doesn’t have the doomsday cache of something like 2012 but San Andreas turns out to be a far better film.
Our main characters are fire and rescue expert Ray (Dwayne “It’s Okay to Call Me The Rock Again” Johnson), his estranged wife Emma (Carla Gugino), and their college-age daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) who are separated when California begins experiencing a series of increasingly harsh earthquakes and spend the film working back to each other as, once again, a huge disaster seems to magically fix all relationship issues over two hours. Disaster couples counseling has been used so often in movies it has become its own cliche.
Everly is a gritty revenge drama that fails because it refuses to embrace how ridiculous its premise is while delivering hard-boiled action verging on torture porn which would have been far more palatable as a more straightforward shoot ’em up.
Salma Hayek stars in the title role as a sex slave who, after four years, has finally had enough and starts to fight back. Taking place entirely in the apartment where Everly has been kept for years, the body count continues to grow as the the woman with no hand-to-hand combat or weapons training coninues to kill the odd range of prostitutes and killers who show up to collect the bounty on her head.
Written by Yale Hannon and directed by Joe Lynch, the movie also includes a subplot involving Everly’s daughter (Aisha Ayamah) and mother (Laura Cepeda) whose safety is her primary concern now that the shit has hit the fan. Available on DVD and Blu-ray, extras include two separate commentary tracks and a music video. Notable only for Hayek’s involvement and its bizarre assortment of characters, Everly is a misfire that never finds its target.