Recently, a highly anticipated film made its debut in American theaters and is now available on Netflix.
Reptile is a gripping murder mystery that centers around an investigation uncovering a web of crimes.
With a runtime exceeding two hours and an impressive ensemble cast, it undoubtedly beckons your attention
What remains contentious is whether the film delivers on the thrill it promises.
Here is my Reptile movie review to shed light on the same.
The brutal murder of a real estate agent sets the stage for a hardened detective to show his skills and bring the culprits to justice.
But the road isn’t as smooth as it seems.
Directed by Grant Singer, Reptile stars Benicio Del Toro (Tom), Justin Timberlake (Will), Eric Bogosian (Robert Allen), Alicia Silverstone (Judy), Domenick Lombardozzi (Wally), Frances Fisher (Camille), and others.
Reptile: The Upsides
As you venture into Reptile, a certain sense of artistry begins to emerge, indicating that the pieces of this cinematic puzzle are gradually falling into place.
However, the eventual outcome may not fully align with this initial impression.
Nonetheless, there are several commendable aspects to the film.
To start, Reptile boasts a mysterious storyline that it deftly markets. It is intricately adorned with enigma, serving as a catalyst for an unfolding murder investigation.
The creators play their cards meticulously, divulging precious little as the narrative unfolds.
At times, you may wonder if you possess enough clues to grasp the essence of the story.
Yet, when the pivotal moment arrives, it delivers a convincing resolution.
Furthermore, the deliberate pace of the screenplay provides a welcome departure from the clamor often found in similar productions, although it could have been executed more flawlessly.
While the slowness is not an unequivocal highlight of Reptile, its unassailable strength lies in the gritty and realistic narrative it cultivates over time.
The film refrains from endowing the protagonist with supreme abilities that yield instant solutions.
Instead, the lead character grapples, ponders, struggles, experiences confusion, and repeats the process—an authentic portrayal of the challenges of problem-solving.
This touch of real-life complexity keeps you engaged despite the narrative’s occasional shortcomings.
Additionally, the dark and immersive ambiance enhances the core of Reptile, creating the necessary somber atmosphere to evoke the desired emotional responses.
How are the Performances?
In the realm of performances, Benicio Del Toro steps into the shoes of Tom, a gritty cop in Reptile.
Del Toro’s visage is impeccably suited to the role, and he adeptly conveys a sense of restrained astuteness when in front of the camera.
Characters like Tom can be challenging to portray, with limited room for artistic improvisation.
However, Reptile leverages the wealth of experience that Del Toro brings to the table, reaping the rewards of his seasoned craft.
Turning our attention to Justin Timberlake, who portrays Will, we witness a performance characterized by resolute authenticity.
Timberlake’s portrayal of Will, with his reserved and enigmatic demeanor, harmoniously complements the film’s narrative trajectory.
His depiction lends the plot the nuance it deserves, treating it with the requisite gravitas.
Reptile: The Downsides
To be candid, Reptile falters in its pacing during the second half, where it should have accelerated to satiate the audience’s growing curiosity.
The initial dizzying tempo, which initially propels the narrative, regrettably loses momentum as the story unfolds.
While it attempts to play the iconic slow-burn card, it struggles to maintain the grip when the anticipated thrill fails to materialize.
Reptile could have soared with the inclusion of just one meticulously executed pinnacle moment.
Furthermore, the predictability factor is also a concern for the movie. The writing tries hard to cover the real culprit by putting doubts in your mind.
But it just isn’t able to check the box.
Also, I felt the story was convoluted to extreme extents to force suspenseful twists. After a while, the complications start hindering the flow of the basic idea.
Sadly, the addition of an eerie background score doesn’t help either. There wasn’t necessarily a need to experiment in this department.
To be specific, there is a scene when a character is slowly walking, anticipating something wrong.
While it was the right time to create a buildup through music, what you get is something straight out of the ‘Insidious’ franchise.
Stream or Skip?
Watching Reptile depends on your patience level. While the first half is promising, the second deteriorates in comparison.