There’s a lot of hype surrounding the Alex Aja produced P2, which takes place entirely in a parking structure. Being that Aja’s HILLS HAVE EYES failed to impress this reviewer I wasn’t expecting all that much from P2. Even with low expectations I found P2 to be a drawn out, slow-paced and completely useless. It’s not terrible, but it’s hardly worth even talking about… too bad for me, right?
The story centers on a corporate climber named Angela (Rachel Nichols) who gets stuck working late on Christmas Eve and finds herself the target of an unhinged security guard named Thomas (Wes Bentley). With no help in sight, the woman must overcome physical and psychological challenges to survive.
French cinema has been bringing a slew of films featuring strong women as lead characters. Aja’s involvement is immediately felt in this reoccurring theme; only this time the lead doesn’t quite take it to great lengths. The two problems that shake the film to its core are the acting and the screenplay, with everything stemming from the story.
The script MUST have only been 20-pages as nothing really happens in the film – it felt as if it was three key sequences stretched out into an hour and a half. First we have the illustrious dinner sequence that gives homage to classic films like THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. The scene is unbearably long and completely lacks suspense. Thomas doesn’t feel threatening at all, not even a teensy bit. And the viewer feels as if Angela were to just shut her mouth and play along she’ll get out just fine. Thomas is just lonely. Cry me a river.
Angela is then told she’s going to get a present and anyone who has been paying attention to the movie knows exactly what it is she’s going to get. Earlier in the film a co-worker hits on Angela and Thomas catches it on his security cameras. His present to her is that he’s tied up in the parking structure awaiting punishment. Thomas takes Angela to him and tells her to hurt him, when she pusses out he delivers one hell of a beating followed by one of the only cool scenes in the film – man meet wall, wall meet man… blood ensues (watch it on BDTV).
She freaks, runs and ends up in an elevator where we spend another serious chunk of screen time. The scene is laughably bad; actually, terrible is the word to better describe it. The scene is so bad in fact that there’s a portion where Angela calls for help via the elevator emergency button and Thomas answers pretending to be Hindu. No joke, this happens. The best part is she buys it!
The rest of the film becomes hide and seek until she’s finally had enough and is reborn into super Angela. She didn’t sell it, as by the time the film ends she just looks like one lucky SOB.
Sorry to pretty much spoil the entire events in the movie, but can you believe that this review isn’t even one page and that’s pretty much everything?
In the midst of all the boring monologues and drawn out scenes there are a few priceless moments hidden within. One such is when Angela is hiding under a car and Thomas proceeds to slash every tire on the car to get her to come out. But come on, do you really go to a movie to see two cool scenes?
So back to the casting and the acting. First, why the heck would you cast someone so normal looking as Wes Bentley? The dude can have any chick he wants and we’re supposed to believe he has to handcuff a girl on Christmas Eve to get company? His character development is so far fetched as he comes off as a normal guy, so why so much angst? Maybe his balls just dropped? Furthermore, what’s with his huge sideburns? They’re inhuman! And as pretty as Rachel was in the film, she really doesn’t do anything to sell her character’s peril – her performance was flat.
It’s rare when I talk so much about the plot in a review, as I hate ruining it for those who have yet to see it – but then I realized there wasn’t one. P2 is garbage better suited for the dumpster located on P1. Even on DVD I wouldn’t recommend this mind-numbing and bland experience. Watching P2 is like eating a rice cake, it looks like food but it’s really just cardboard.