The Voices (2014) Directed by Marjane Satrapi. With Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick and Jacki Weaver.
Before the subversive smash-hit that was Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds starred in The Voices, a black comedy about a serial killer called Jerry, who works for a bathtub company and lives in a modified apartment above a bowling alley in a U.S nowhere town. Jerry has conversations with his pets – his loyal dog, Bosco, and his wicked-tongued cat, Mr Whiskers. Accordingly, they act as angel and devil on his shoulder, simultaneously encouraging and discouraging his murderous urges.
If you allow yourself enjoyment of dark humour, there’s much amusement to be had. For starters, the actors appear to have fun, particularly Reynolds who easily shakes off his rom-com, leading man/Hugo Boss persona, that in my opinion, was never an entirely comfortable fit. Beyond that, there’s a delightful sense of mischief conveyed by director, Marjane Satrapi and writer, Michael R. Perry, which could easily earn ‘cult classic’ status, in years to come.
For many, it might signal a force awakened in Reynolds, who demonstrates his talent as comedic actor, playing ‘weird‘ with a balanced sense of humour that allows us to laugh at and with him, when paradoxically, what we’re laughing at are the actions of the criminally insane. Going one further, Reynolds also voices his pets – his evil cat sounding like Peter Capaldi in The Thick of It, while his devoted dog sounds like every man’s best friend.
Despite a regular show of blood, guts and violence, The Voices manages to be both funny and light on its feet. By its very nature, it won’t achieve mass appeal, but then, it never sets its sights to. Don’t be surprised if, by the final credits, you have two conflicting voices in your own head, encouraging opposing views about how you felt about the experience. 4/5