Black Butterfly

Image result for Black Butterfly movie poster

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

This film was pretty decent.  I was enjoying the story, liked the performances, and found myself rooting for the protagonist.  I had a suspicion that something was going to twist (as it states on the movie poster), and I had an idea of what that twist was going to be.  I got it …half right.

So there was a bit of a surprise to the twist, even though I had sniffed out part of it.

Then came the final scene.

And everything changed.

Paul (Antonio Bandaras) was a down-on-his-luck writer, who had been struggling with writer’s block and alcoholism.  He gets into a confrontation at a diner with a trucker, but he was rescued by Jack (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), a drifter passing through.  As a thank you, Paul picks Jack up and offers him a place to stay for the night.  Jack starts making himself handy around the place, fixing items and offering his help.  However, things began to turn as Jack started taking more liberties and went as far as to lock Paul up and hold him hostage.

Antonio Bandaras is very good here.  I enjoyed watching him react to the situations with a slight tilt of the head or an original facial expression.  Bandaras is very likable and he helps take this character of Paul, who is clearly having problems with alcohol and anger, and create someone we root for.  Rhys Meyers is just as creepy as the crazed stranger who is getting a thrill in tormenting Paul.

Then came the twist, and, as I said earlier, I saw part of the twist coming.  There are hints throughout the film that, upon reflection, you can see foreshadowing what was to come.  And, although I did not see it and the twist came suddenly, it worked in the end.

But that wasn’t good enough.

The film then had a second twist that was completely unnecessary, desperately cliched and completely ruined everything that came before it.  It was literally the final scene of the film and it ruined the entire more, making it a complete waste of time.  I have no idea why anyone would green light this ending, or tag it on to the film for any reason.  If you shut off the film the first time it faded to black, this would be a compelling, albeit unimportant, psychological thriller that had some holes, but was overall an enjoyable film to watch.

Instead, there was one more scene that completely destroyed everything about the movie.  Worse yet, this twist came out of nowhere.  It felt completely tagged on as a way to … I really don’t know why they would have included this.

Unfortunately, this had potential to be a solid, little independent movie, but it tosses everything away with a waste twist ending that wrecks everything the narrative had set up.

Take my advice, shut the film off when it first fades to black.  You’ll appreciate Black Butterfly considerably more than if you let it run.

I would have given this a fresh rating without that final scene.  Probably around a 3.4 or so.  Now, my score reflects how an ending can really wreck the remainder of the film.

2.6 stars

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