'Flinch' Review: A fast-paced crime thriller oozing with evocative noir elements

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Daniel Zovatto in a still from Flinch

Flinch, directed by Cameron Van Hoy, unfolds in a very interesting space. A crime thriller made in the vein of films such as Point Blank (1967), Get Carter (1971), Thief (1981), Heat (1995), Collateral (2004), and Drive (2011), Flinch is a fast-paced crime thriller starring Daniel Zovatto (It Follows, Lady Bird, and Don’t Breathe), Tilda Cobham-Hervey (52 Tuesdays, I Am Woman, Hotel Mumbai, Burn)Tom Segura (stand-up comedian, actor, and podcaster), Academy Award Nominee Cathy Moriarty,  and Buddy Duress, who received critical acclaim for his performance in Good Time (2017), starring alongside Robert Pattinson. The indie is produced under the banner of Ardor Pictures, the production company behind the SXSW film Tragedy Girls (2017). Flinch has already opened in theatres and would go live on Jan 21 on digital.

Flinch follows a young hitman named Joe (Daniel Zovatto) whose life turns upside down when he develops feelings for a girl named Mia (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) who witnesses a murder he commits. Joe’s mind says he should kill Mia and tie all loose ends but his heart stops him from pulling the trigger. So he kidnaps her and keeps her hostage in the very house he lives with his aging mother Gloria (essayed by Cathy Moriarty), jeopardizing his life as well as his mother’s for a total stranger. What ensues is a series of dilemmas which he must overcome at all costs.

Flinch: Movie Poster

Now, the acting performances on offer are really good. Cathy Moriarty, of course, is a veteran performer and some of the scenes that she features in are really up there with the best in terms of emotions. Take, for example, the scenes wherein Gloria confronts Joe and tries to convince him to get rid of Mia. There is great tension in those moments as Gloria (a caring mother but who is also very practical in approach thanks to her survival instincts) suspects that his son is letting them down. Zovatto and Cobham-Hervey also share great chemistry. They share some very difficult scenes together. But the end result is really solid. Also, they are well backed by the supporting cast. Cameron Van Hoy really needs to be commended for eliciting wonderful performances from his actors.

Flinch greatly benefits from its taut and pacy narrative which never slackens from the first scene to the last. Its atmospheric background music and fluid editing suit the nighttime scenes really well. It’s noir at its most moody and evocative. The intense action scenes are done really well and are at par with any major Hollywood production. Of course, we are not talking about John Wick or Atomic Blonde kind of combat sequences here as that’s not really the demand of the story. This is more in the zone of Michael Mann and Nicolas Winding Refn. So if you have an appetite for character-driven crime thrillers then Flinch would certainly not disappoint you.

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