Control – Film Review

Kevin Spacey always excelled at playing the villain, so when the multiple allegations for sexual misconduct came out against him, people didn’t seem too surprised. With the allegations, Spacey might be one of the few celebrities whose ‘cancelling’ actually had some sort of impact. Spacey might have found some work here with Control, although this is well below his previous work.

Control is written and directed by Gene Fallaize, who was probably elated to have Spacey’s name in his movie’s poster, no matter how tarnished. The premise of the film is about British Home Secretary, Stella Simmons (Lauren Metcalfe) taking the Prime Minister’s daughter home. After a late-night press briefing, her self-driving car has been hijacked by Spacey, credited as the voice. I hate that I’ll credit Spacey’s previous work here, but his work in ‘Moon’ as a disembodied voice was fun and perfect with the tone of the film, here it sounds like nothing more than a desperate grab for relevance again.

Metcalfe isn’t great, but the material isn’t great either and she’s trying much harder than Spacey is. Unfortunately, Fallaize’s writing is so painfully dull and repetitive. With the importance of the dialogue taking place in the car, it’s baffling how bad the audio is. I could have recorded a conversation with my grandparent using speaker phone and still have ended up with better sound quality. If you’re going to fork out the money for Spacey on your low budget film, why even bother when you can’t understand him for majority of the time? You might wonder, “Aren’t the calls on speaker phone?” They are! But this is a fucking self-driving car! Why would the car’s phone speaker be so bad? IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE!!!

Comparing similar films isn’t really fair, but I’m going to do it here. ‘Phone Booth’ isn’t a perfect film, but the premise is similar and the audio quality of the film actually does sound like a man on the outside of a phone booth when he is. Plus the acting is 1000x better than this.

Another gripe is how bad the exterior of the car’s window is. I can’t comment too much on Metcalfe’s acting in these scenes because it can be so hard to see her, you might find yourself shouting “Clean your windows!”. Why this would be shot so badly is beyond me. Aside from the films technical laziness, Spacey’s character motivation makes him one of the laziest villains in film, even the hunter in Bambi is more fleshed out.

Now, I hate dunking on a person’s creative work, I haven’t made a film so I can’t attest to the effort that is required to create something – but there is no effort here. If effort was made, it was to get Spacey involved and that was most likely a quick call offering work. If Spacey read the script first or at all, I’d be surprised.

It’s hard to say if Control had any chance of being a decent film without the budget going to Spacey. Control’s script doesn’t have anything redeemable and sadly, anything that would make the film slightly interesting is catered to an actor that doesn’t care. This won’t be on any ‘so bad it’s good’ lists any time soon.

Sign up to receive weekly updates on our most recent reviews.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *