“Inspired by the actual accounts of an NYPD sergeant.” That was the tagline that got me into the theater to see Deliver Us From Evil.
After having seen the film, I find myself wondering what that tagline truly means. Did these events actually happen or did this NYPD sergeant just say that they did?
I’ve been duped.
Officer Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) and his partner Butler (Joel McHale) begin investigating a series of violent crimes that virtually have no connection. Eventually Sarchie stumbles upon a Latin inscription that can be found at the scene of each crime. Upon finding the commonality he then begins seeing things and hearing voices.
Out of the blue, priest Mendoza (Édgar Ramirez) comes into contact with Sarchie who informs him that these three crimes are indeed connected… by the devil. The two then instantly team up in an attempt to get to the bottom of why the demonic events are taking place.
A lot of boring drawn out dialogue jumps us from scene to scene, a few pop-out scares happen, and then the film culminates in a quick exorcism scene. To say that I wish the film’s ending lasted a little longer wouldn’t be right, I was happy to walk out of the theater when I did, I guess I just expected a little more after the two-hour build up.
Despite the boring storyline, the acting had it’s moments. Eric Bana definitely plays a believable NYPD officer, while Joel McHale is good at being the comedic relief. However, his one-liners sometimes seem out of place and his character comes off as unnecessary to the overall story. Olivia Munn, who plays Sarchie’s wife, puts on her best New York accent and holds her own. There’s even a great scene where Munn is in bed and you can clearly see her nipples through her white t-shirt, it’s quite possibly the only real reason to go see this movie.
Deliver Us From Evil plays out like a less suspenseful version of Paranormal Activity mixed with every exorcism movie you’ve ever seen. All held together by scene after scene of long boring dialogue as delivered by a few talented actors. Nothing too memorable.
Deliver Us From Evil stars Eric Bana, Édgar Ramirez, Joel McHale, and Olivia Munn. Written by Scott Derrickson and Paul Harris Boardman. Directed by Scott Derrickson. In theaters July 2.