Combustible Celluloid
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With: Cameron Monaghan, Lilly Krug, Frank Grillo, John Malkovich, Sasha Luss, Ridely Asha Bateman, Dat Phan
Written by: David Loughery
Directed by: Luis Prieto
MPAA Rating: R for violence, bloody images, sexual content, nudity, and language throughout
Running Time: 92
Date: 01/14/2022

Shattered (2022)

1 Star (out of 4)

Fatal Subtraction

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This erotic thriller seems to have all the pieces that low-down genre requires, but despite a decent attempt at some heat, it just glides across its cool, glossy surface, forgettable and passionless.

Techie millionaire Chris Decker (Cameron Monaghan) is in the process of divorcing his wife (Sasha Luss), with whom he has a young daughter. Alone in his hillside fortress, he goes out, shopping for some late night ice cream, and runs across the beautiful Sky (Lilly Krug), who asks for his advice in selecting a bottle of wine. She ends up back at his place.

The next night he seeks her out at the bar where she works, but they are attacked by a man attempting to rob Chris's car, and Chris's leg is broken. Sky offers to take care of Chris, and, smitten, he accepts. But there's more to Sky than meets the eye, and she soon has control of the house and Chris's bank accounts. But she still needs access to his safe deposit box, where millions in bonds are kept, and that will require a little persuasion. Can Chris escape and get his life back?

Admittedly, Krug is rather terrific in her role as Shattered's evil seductress. Her mouth naturally forms a smile when she speaks; it's disarming when she's being pleasant, and alarming when she turns to torture mode. Her crazy never seems forced. ("Mother's maiden name!" she demands sweetly as she revs a power drill.) And how could Frank Grillo, as Sky's swaggering bulldog of a sidekick, and John Malkovich, as a slithery, galumphing, peeping-tom landlord, not bring some much-needed fun to the movie? Somehow they just don't.

Perhaps Shattered is a little too enamored of its million-dollar look and feel. Everything feels chilly and vague, a little too clean and computerized, with screens hanging everywhere in Chris's mansion. (One depicts a digital clock so that we can literally watch the time crawling by.)

Additionally, it's very difficult to believe that anyone who could amass a fortune would be dumb enough to fall for this scheme. And Chris and Sky's relationship moves so fast, based on so little, that the plot developments make little impact. This genre requires a little more craziness, a little more abandon, to really succeed, and this one barely registers a crack, let alone a shatter.

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