I love a good revenge film. They have been a staple of film almost since the invention of film itself. In the 70s it really took off with social tensions and rising crime rates being on people’s minds. Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood had huge hits with Death Wish and Dirty Harry and the trend hasn’t really let up since. 2007 had a good double whammy of vigilante films with Jodie Foster in The Brave One and Kevin Bacon in Death Sentence and Michael Caine had an exceptional vigilante film in 2009 with Harry Brown. This week we get another film to join the ranks, Lila & Eve.
Lila (Viola Davis) is a grief stricken mother trying to cope with the street shooting death of her son. At a support group she meets another grieving mother, Eve (Jennifer Lopez), who is as tired as Lila of the police not being able to do anything about their son’s murders. The two mother’s decide to take matters into their own hands and what starts as just an investigation for information turns into something much more deadly.
Lila & Eve was a very pleasant surprise for me. I assumed the movie would be subpar in that even with two big names the film skipped a theatrical run and went straight to store shelves. But my hesitation couldn’t have been further from the truth. The story is a sad and emotional one with both Davis and Lopez doing a great job conveying the angst, frustration, anger and sadness that accompany such a sudden and tragic loss. This is always the key to a good revenge thriller, you have to relate to the main characters emotions and struggles and agree with them on some level that their actions are justified. And in Lila & Eve, it certainly feels as if it is. There are some great twists in the story, the film looks great with a dark and atmospheric feel and Davis and Lopez are both great in their roles. The Blu-ray is a great transfer as well, so if you are up for something you may not have heard of but looking for a great new thriller, Lila & Eve fits the bill perfectly. Highly recommended.