THE GUILTY (#TIFF21)
Incredibly well-acted by the always entertaining Jake Gyllenhaal, The Guilty fails to achieve any sense of the intensity it is clearly aiming for while also falling short of having any real purpose.
When a 911 dispatcher (Gyllenhaal) receives a call from a woman in serious danger, not all is what it seems as events continue to unfold at a rapid pace. This is the rare Antoine Fuqua film that doesn’t hit its mark, an adaptation of its foreign original that simply lacks a bite. There isn’t enough here for Fuqua to make his mark. Gyllenhaal is committed and intriguing as an obviously tortured officer with a legal case looming based on his actions in the field, but we get little more than a hint towards the larger happening, leaving the viewer unsatisfied. Ultimately one cannot help but feel as though they’ve seen this all before.
It’s not that The Guilty is a boring outing, rather it just never hits that next level to grip the audience and make them feel anything. Certain aspects of the story that were meant to be big reveals and shocking twists are delivered with little impact. Worst of all, when the film ends, I was left feeling as though I just wasted my time. The Guilty is an unfortunate miss.
The Guilty is now playing in select theaters and hits Netflix Friday.