Starring Antonio Banderas, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Piper Perabo, Abel Ferrara, Vincent Riotta. Directed by Brian Goodman. (2017, 93 min).
Black Butterfly is one of those movies that isn't all that entertaining, but you feel somewhat compelled to see how it ends. And unfortunately, the wait is hardly worth it.
Antonio Banderas is Paul Lopez, a cash-strapped, alcoholic author with a severe case of writer's block. After a drifter, Jack (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), intervenes during a potential violent confrontation between Paul and an angry truck driver, Paul invites him to stay at his remote cabin. There's also an elusive serial killer running around who's recently claimed another victim. Jack appears to fit the bill perfectly, especially after becoming increasingly violent and unstable. He eventually holds Paul against his will and forces him to write their ongoing "story." Shoe-horned into the plot is real-estate agent Laura (Piper Perabo), who Paul fleetingly pursues romantically, but primarily exists to be put in peril.
|"No, I won't get you Robert Rodriguez's autograph."|
The movie takes forever to get going and spends way too much time giving us Paul's sorry life & financial problems before Jack even shows up. Then the plot unfolds like a warmed-over retread of Misery, only not as witty and no villain as dynamic as Annie Wilkes. Additionally, we begin to suspect not everything is what is seems long before the ballyhooed twist ending that's supposed to knock our socks off. Still, we've come this far...might as well see if our suspicions are correct, right?
Unfortunately, the "twist" is not only underwhelming, it requires a gigantic suspension of disbelief. And even that doesn't matter because the subsequent resolution negates everything we just watched with one of the most overused, irritating tropes in film history. Unless Black Butterfly is the first movie you've ever watched, you'll probably feel more cheated than surprised.
AUDIO COMMENTARY - With director Brian Goodman & co-writer Marc Frydman