Saturday, July 30, 2022

The Moderator: Movie Review

Random violence, disorienting action, no clear direction.

In my fairest guess, The Moderator is half a movie, and the second half of a movie after things would have been explained and people introduced so all we have is action. Mya (Irma Lake) is a Russian blogger – actually I should back up, we don’t really know that until much later – at the beginning, she’s a hot woman presumably from somewhere in Europe. Her friends in Morocco have been killed so she’s going to avenge their deaths.   2022

Directed by: Zhor Fassi-Fihri

Screenplay by: Hicham Hajji, Jonathan McConnell

Starring: Irma Lake

The inciting action is the murder of two Scandinavian women whose beheadings were recorded and broadcast on the internet. This was real. In 2018, two tourists were killed in Morocco with the suspects pleading allegiance to ISIS. But everything else that follows in the movie is not real and then actually has nothing to do with the murder of the girls. So it feels like a very cheap beginning.

The first half of the movie is all over the place. It’s impossible to determine if it’s really poorly edited or if the script on the page is so confused that it couldn’t possibly be edited in an organized manner. It involves Mya flying to Miami to murder somebody – we don’t know who or why; then we’re off to Morocco to watch douchebags golf and party, and then there’s an entire rape scene in excruciating detail.

Surprisingly, the movie actually has a meaning and purpose. It comes very slowly after almost an hour and out of nowhere. All of the people Mya has killed were connected, but the film which was seeming entirely misogynistic ends up being a tale of revenge for all the women who have been raped with no justice because “they asked for it.” There is a much, much better way to tell a story with that moral, and I can promise you this is not it.

The Moderator is 82 minutes of random violence and disorienting action, characters who have no connection to anything, and the explanation at the end is the very definition of ‘too little too late’. It’s an explanation, but not a satisfactory one, it’s an ending that is most likely going to leave viewers angry, a confirmation that you just wasted that 82 minutes.

Similar Titles:

  The Good Neighbor - A slow moving thriller with a great setting.

  An Imperfect Murder - Lacking a narrative, purpose, intrigue and everything that comes with that.