When you put two expert actors in a crime film based on a larger-than-life true story, you’d think it would equate to one pot-boiler of a thriller.
And yet, Game Of Thrones alum Emilia Clarke and Jack Huston just can’t seem to save themselves from the incessant sludge produced from Above Suspicion, a schlocky feature with a cheesy true crime series pedigree.
It’s based on the story of the first conviction of an FBI agent for murder, which should be thrilling. But instead, we’re given a subpar product we’re supposed to believe is a gritty, slow-burn noir. Really, it’s a cheap knock-off of plenty of better, more intricate and intelligent features.
Huston is really great as an FBI agent and family man who starts sleeping with an informant involved in the drug trade. But it’s Emilie Clarke who rises from the ashes of her Khaleesi character in Game Of Thrones and delivers a powerhouse.
It’s unfortunate, really, that she tries so hard and embodies this troubled, drug addict, down-on-her-luck character so well, but the film crumbles around her.
Director Phillip Noyce has made some great films, Salt, The Quiet American, The Bone Collector and The Saint, and a few Jack Ryan films among them, so this is perplexing.
He’s a capable director who seems to just be slumming it here. He doesn’t get the best supporting turns from his actors, including a tone-deaf performance from Johnny Knoxville as a tweaker, abusive ex-husband to Clarke’s character. He’s game to do something new, but he just seems to keep hitting the wrong beats.
This could have been a really enjoyable, pulpy flick, but in the end it feels like a swamped, muddled mess.