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Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Colin Farrell, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Abbie Cornish, Kenny Johnson, Luisa Moraes

Director: Afonso Poyart

Reportedly this strange, at times over-directed and underwritten film has spent many years in gestation.

Nevertheless the largely intriguing blend of police procedural and supernatural story and, notably, speedy direction that drives the jumpy narrative over the plot-holes, adds up to watchable entertainment for genre addicts.

Anthony Hopkins clearly enjoys himself playing a long retired reclusive police doctor who also doubles as a psychic (think Hannibal Lector as a gentleman with no desire for fava beans and a nice chianti) who is persuaded to return to criminal investigation when is old friend, FBI agent Jeffrey Dean Morgan, asks him to help track down a grisly serial killer whose victims appear to have nothing in common.

“I tell you I’m not interested”, is Hopkins’ initial reaction. But, especially being top-billed (although no actors – or behind-the-camera characters are named in the opening credits, only the title), of course he joins in a hunt for a killer that becomes grislier by the moment.

Finally Hopkins works out the link between the apparently unrelated dead, introducing Colin Farrell who, like Hopkins, is able to see the future; and the already creepy narrative takes an even darker tone as he and Hopkins oppose each other up to a chilling resolution.

Obviously it would all too be easy to give away the McGuffin that drives Solace. I don’t intend to do that. For all its narrative faults and rather too many sometimes too flashy flashbacks, Brazilian director Afonso Poyart knows where he is going (although there are times when he tends to lose his sense of direction, but fortunately not for too long and not too detrimental to the story) delivers a suitably effective shocker decorated with Hopkins as his most entertainingly actorish.

Alan Frank

USA 2015. UK Distributor: Entertainment. Colour.
101 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 25 Sep 2015