The Night Clerk

The Night Clerk (DVD) – 101 Films Store

There is a great cast in this movie.  Makes you wonder why the movie itself is such a boring sludge.

Tye Sheridan stars as Bart, a night clerk at a motel, who is a high performing individual on the Autism Spectrum and a tech wizard.  Bart uses his tech savvy to set up cameras to watch the guests in order to “study” humans.  When a guest is murdered, police Detective Espada (John Leguizamo) believes that Bart had a hand in it.  Meanwhile, a new guest, Andrea (Ana de Armas) shows up and develops a bond with Bart.

Not much makes sense here and the film appears to be at cross purposes.  Is it a sweet love story or a brutal murder mystery?  Or is it a story of a plucky underdog overcoming the odds to find love or is it a sexual deviant unable to form a true bond with anyone?

Meanwhile… what the hell is wrong with the cop?  His line of questioning is so dumb and nonsensical that the entire story arc of the death is unreasonable and stupid.  I hate it when supposedly intelligent people do such idiotic things.

Ana de Armas, who was absolutely wonderful in Knives Out, is nowhere near as transcendent here as she was in that film.  She felt miscast in this role, not taking advantage of her natural charisma and her easiness of performance.  This movie does not take advantage of her natural skills.

It is an unsatisfying film with a great cast that does not get to really sink their teeth into anything worthy of their talents.  Tye Sheridan is fine.  Helen Hunt, as Bart’s mother, gets a couple of scenes of enabling.  John Leguizamo is given a character far below him.  Ana de Armas makes no sense and does not take advantage of her “it” factor.

The best part of the movie is that is is only around 90 minutes.

1.8 stars 

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