Review by Camden Ferrell
Deep Water is an erotic thriller that marks the return of director Adrian Lyne, having not directed a film since 2002. The movie is based on a Patricia Highsmith novel of the same name and is finally being released after delays of over a year. While all of the pieces are present to create an engaging and captivating thriller, these elements don’t land properly and create a relatively bland experience that is more monotonous than it should have been.
Vic and Melinda are a married couple with a child. They live what appears to be a normal life. They have a nice house and great friends. However, things are not as they appear. Vic allows his wife to have affairs with other men in order to avoid divorce and ruining their family. Their lives and the lives of those around them get thrown into a spiral when Melinda’s lovers start to disappear. This is a great premise that has the potential to be everything an erotic thriller should be.
The script, written by Zach Helm and Sam Levinson, fails to capitalize on the set up for this movie. Levinson is typically a strong writer who knows how to create tension while still meaningfully developing characters, but that ability is absent from the movie. None of the characters feel fleshed out or particularly well-written. The plot is inconsistent in tone, and it seems unsure of what it’s trying to ultimately achieve. It reveals its hand way too early while failing to create any tension or thrills from it.
The movie is led by Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas. Despite both being talented actors in their own rights, this movie fails to see them perform up to their usual standards. Even though they were a real-life couple at the time, their chemistry is non-existent in most of their scenes together. The supporting cast consists of other talented actors like Tracy Letts, Lil Rel Howery, and Jacob Elordi, but they aren’t given much to work with either.
Even though the movie isn’t terrible, it meanders far too long, and doesn’t know how to tell its story effectively. It has occasional moments of excitement, especially in its final act, but it still ultimately fails to captivate audiences with the thriller it promised to be.
Deep Water might be a fun film for fans of its lead actors, but this film might not be exciting enough for most people to enjoy. It’s competently made on a technical level, but it lacks the storytelling ability that its director and writers have been known to execute properly in the past.
Deep Water is streaming on Hulu March 18.