There are some actors that aren’t quite on the A-list where they get to headline a lot of movies, and yet they’re so consistently good that even when they’re in a mediocre film you can expect a good performance out of them. Lou Diamond Phillips is one such actor, so when I saw that he was the star of the 2002 film Malevolent I was interested in checking it out, and wondered why I hadn’t heard of it before now. As it turns out, it looks like it was released direct-to-video, and after watching it, I can see why. Malevolent is one of those films where it seems like everything came together except for one key element; in this case, the writing. Of course, I’m not willing to put the entirety of the blame on writers Dennis Shryack and Peter Bellwood; a director always has the option to make a few changes to the script on the fly, and a few decisive edits from director John Terlesky would have addressed my biggest concerns here.
Phillips stars as Jack Lucas, an L.A. homicide detective with a hefty assortment of personal problems. His own mother was murdered a few years prior, he suffers from constant insomnia, and he’s under investigation due to his former partner being involved with a drug gang. And after someone drugs him at a bar, he finds himself engaged in a bizarre game of cat-and-mouse with a serial killer who seems to have a vendetta against him. Continue reading