In director Joe Lynch’s new film, a disillusioned lawyer and his former client (Steven Yeun of The Walking Dead and Samara Weaving, a spirited Margot Robbie look-alike) brave a viral outbreak that spreads within an office tower, in order to take down the corporation that’s betrayed them. Mayhem is an energetic genre flick that looks stunning and moves at a ferocious pace.
But contrived dialogue and a bewildering narrative tarnish this otherwise enjoyable pulp effort. The superb action scenes are worthy of comparison to the work of Takashi Miike, Quentin Tarantino and David Fincher. Yeun and Weaving are appealing, but their performances are handicapped by a leaden, clumsy script—they seem too nice to spout the bile with which the virus (and screenwriter Matias Caruso) infects them, while the villains struggle with inconsistent accents.
The real heroes here are cinematographer Steve Gainer (even his most basic shots are inspired) and the unnamed choreographer of the fight scenes. As a business satire, Mayhem aims high but falls short. As a revenge actioner, it excels.
BY: DANIEL GALLANT