I saw Return to Sender for one reason; Rosamund Pike. She’s the Academy Award nominee from the hugely successful “Gone Girl” and I was so impressed with her playing the duplicitous Amy Dunn that I decided to give her second feature a shot.
I regret that.
Pike plays Miranda, a nurse who is the victim of a violent sexual assault. The assault disrupts her normal, orderly life where she works as trauma nurse and is trying to sell her home. Because of the attack, she has a tremor in her hand making her unable to work in a surgery center, and no one wants to buy her house because it’s a crime scene. Even after her attacker is convicted and sentenced to prison, Miranda can’t get closure. So she decides to start visiting him. The atmosphere after this is dual natured, and a bit of regurgitated Gone Girl. We don’t know whether Miranda is truly trying to understand her attacker, or if she’s simply setting him up for a greater revenge.
They don’t play off the suspense well. The movie is like 2 hours of tedious “will she or won’t she” questions, and ends on an anti-climactic note. The tension isn’t good. It’s boring and exhausting, and there’s literally no payoff for waiting for the end.
This is a queasy exploitation flick wrapped in an ‘art’ package. They pulled in Pike to give this movie credibility, but it’s nothing more than some gritty, poorly shot torture porn wrapped up in a pretty package. That’s what it is. It’s a new version of “I Spit on Your Grave” one of the original rape-revenge flicks.
But Pike should have been warned prior to making this slightly tamer copycat movie that every single one of the leads in I Spit on You Grave never got another part in a major movie. They literally cursed their careers by making a movie that bad.
I can see this happening again. Rosamund Pike may have just shot herself in the foot. I don’t know what she was thinking when she accepted this roll. I don’t know who her manager is, who told her this was a good idea, or if she got in debt to the mob and this movie was the only way to pay it off, but this movie was an utter mistake. She might have just ruined her career.
And Nick Nolte? Yeah, he served no purpose in the movie, other than making me question if he’d decided to go Amish with his giant beard. He mainly just plods around, warning Miranda to stay away from the man who attacked her while Miranda tries to put him at ease. Maybe Voltage owed him billing in a movie, but honestly, his character did nothing to advance the plot.
It’s crap. It’s cheap exploitation filth designed to draw in pervy audiences, and presented under the guise of art in an attempt to give it respectability. This is the kind of movie I would expect on late night cable, not from Rosamund Pike.
Despite that, I still think Pike is a talent. I’m just thinking that she might want to leave this mess off her resume because it was not worth the watch, not even remotely.
We Gave it: 1 Star: Official Movie Trailer and Movie Poster Below