I had seen trailers for this movie and was immediately interested. Mostly because it starred Steven Yeun, Glen from the Walking Dead, and I’ve always thought he was a decent actor. When I also noticed that it was directed by Joe Lynch who also made Wrong Turn 2 and Knights of Badassdom I was sold.
Yen portrays a lawyer named Derek that works at a huge firm that takes up most of the space at a high-rise office building. Derek’s claim to fame is that he created a defense for a client who was infected by virus that made him temporarily lose his mind and become homicidal. This virus, ID7 or Red Eye, is very contagious but tends to run its course over a period of twenty-four hours. We are also introduced to Melanie who comes for a meeting to try and save her house from foreclosure. The firm also works for mortgage companies as well as killers… Derek doesn’t help and sends her on her way. Not long after that Derek finds out that he is being setup to take the fall for one of the higher ups who is covering her ass while throwing him under the bus.
Well Derek gets fired and while being escorted out of the building gets caught in the quarantine. Red Eye has broken out at the firm and they are all stuck with each other until the virus runs its course. Some things happen, and Derek ends up locked in the basement with Melanie. Together they decide to head up to the top floor and get some revenge on the asshats that ruined their lives. Because of Derek’s good work any crimes committed while the virus is active gets a free pass. The rest of the movie is them headed to the penthouse surrounded by killing and mayhem. Basically, they have a good time.
I was very surprised by how much I liked this movie. The story is interesting and provides both an excuse for tons of violence and other “unacceptable” behavior as well acting as a commentary of sorts. The lawyers are evil bastards that literally hide out in the penthouse destroying the little people below them, sometimes just to play political games. They are also the ones that cashed the big paycheck to figure out a way to get their clients off, including the man who killed while under the influence of the Red Eye virus. Thus, they created the legal defense that allows Derek to start killing them off and provided the motivation for both he and Melanie to take the time to track them down and murder the hell out of them. That was a very clever bit of writing and made me invested in the characters and situation no matter how absurd things got.
|The characters are having fun and so is the audience!|
This movie has quite the body count and I thought for the most part the kills were decent. You have stabbings, a board with a nail that does some damage, hammers, electric saws, scissors, and all other sorts of office supplies used to commit homicide. There are also a lot of interesting things happening in the background of the scenes we are watching. Basically, crazy infected people doing their own thing, including each other, while our main story unfolds. That was an awesome touch by Lynch that gives the story some depth, shit is happening in addition to the main characters’ storylines! And if you watch closely some of it is really funny. When a movie encourages the audience to pay that close attention to the screen it normally is a good thing.
I could keep going and talk about the cast, which is great, but that would just be beating a dead horse. The bottom line with Mayhem is that it lives up to its title and is worth checking out. You can find it on Amazon and well as most of the big box stores. Totally worth a purchase.
© Copyright 2018 John Shatzer