“One lie is enough to question all truths.” – Anonymous
Ah yes, the erotic thriller. For those of us that get turned on when sex and murder is smushed together like naughty bits in a, well, an erotic thriller. I try not to judge but if the idea of Ben Affleck drowning someone in his pool and then humping his polyamorous wife is a turn on for you, I don’t know, maybe see someone about what that might mean? Maybe? I’m more concerned for the person that could watch this movie and genuinely be entertained. If you’ll indulge me for a moment, here is the basic layout of Deep Water: Ana de Armas is a free spirited floozy who sleeps with every man she sees. She then gets angry at Ben Affleck for not exactly being wild about the idea of his wife banging every johnson that stands erect in her presence. Aside from a few brief moments of actual emotion on Affleck’s part, he mostly just stares at her as she flaunts her infidelity in front of all their friends and family. He is clearly upset in these situations but instead of doing anything remotely interesting he just continues to give his gloomy stare of disapproval. Cut to two hours later and you have the general idea. Deep Water.
This entire story feels like a horrible precursor to the phenomenal Gone Girl, also starring Affleck. It tries to capture a similar tone and even the coloring and lighting is reminiscent of that far superior film. The only difference being that Gone Girl is expertly crafted in every way and Deep Water feels like someone trying to entice you to watch the movie by telling you that you might see nipples. If I were fifteen years-old without internet access I’d be stoked. But alas I am an old man and this crap ain’t cutting it.
I want to like Affleck as an actor, as a director I’m a big fan, but he rarely leaves his comfort zone of looming with his villainous chin and empty stare perfected over a career of doing that exact thing over and over. He’s just plain boring here. And even in the moments where his character is actually pushing some semblance of a story forward, he never reacts with anything above a whisper. And I mean that in a physical sense too. If body language could yell or whisper he never goes beyond the equivalent of leaning over and talking in someone’s ear so no one else hears. And, SPOILER ALERT!! … he kills people in this damn movie!
Ana de Armas has proven in previous roles she is more than capable of carrying a film. She has shown that beyond the pretty face and amazing body is a capable actor and a willingness to go for broke. In Deep Water she basically forgoes all of that and behaves promiscuously while occasionally showing some skin. Her character is childish and cruel. She behaves in such a way that anyone in their right mind would be angered by and then she turns around and gets mad at these people for having the gall to react like any sane human being. She’s tiring as a character and learns nothing nor does she change by the credit roll. She is a walking ploy to get a reaction out of Affleck’s character and as I’ve already discussed, he never seems to give a shit beyond his thousand yard stare.
This entire endeavor is a whole lot of useless scenes with deplorable characters behaving like morons that accidentally took Viagra without realizing it. And let’s talk about that too while we’re at it – the sex? Boring. It’s not even exciting or erotic like the genre promises. It’s more implication of sex than actual sex scenes. I don’t require the hardcore nudity and full penetration to enjoy a movie but if the entire concept of a story surrounds the very act of sex and all of the intimacy that entails, I expect more than whatever this movie glued together.
Deep Water is a near two hour snooze that only reminds you there are far better options to choose from. Even in a genre as tired as this one, better options exist, I promise. Remember, if you’re trying to spice things up with some video content, the internet is a thing. I’ll just leave it at that.
Rated R For: sexual content, nudity, language and some violence
Runtime: 115 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Starring: Ben Affleck, Ana de Armas, Tracy Letts, Grace Jenkins
Directed By: Adrian Lyne
Out of 10 Nerdskulls
Story: 4/ Acting: 6/ Directing: 7/ Visuals: 6
OVERALL: 4.5 Nerdskulls
Buy to Own: No. Streaming on Hulu, March 18, 2022.
Check out the trailer below:
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