BY ROMEY NORTON JANUARY 12, 2024
Secrets, lies, and assassinations - all makes for a great film, right? Wrong. Whilst Role Play boasts a decent cast, it’s not enough to save it from a tepid story-line and lack of action.
Role Play is the Amazon Studios thriller-action film directed by Thomas Vincent, starring Kaley Cuoco, David Oyelowo, Bill Nighy, and Connie Nielsen. Whilst our resourceful protagonist Emma does overcome unlikely and terrible odds, the villain and conflict is not strong or intimidating enough to make this film memorable - it leaves a lot to be desired.
Emma is one of the best assassins for a company called Sovereign and is in popular demand, not only that she has a giant bounty on her head. Being too good at her job makes her slack off at being a good wife/partner, so when she forgets their anniversary, the couple decide to take a weekend break to celebrate. When they’re trying to spice things up in their marriage, Emma’s husband Dave discovers she’s a secret assassin when she kills someone at their hotel who was hot on her trail. Emma must take matters into her own hands to protect her family and herself.
The story-line is entertaining enough, there’s dribs and drabs of suspicion, intensity and action throughout and it has a solid pace. There are a lot of times the film plays as if it has no clear direction and you’re left guessing the plot rather than being led.
Cuoco and Oyelowo do have good chemistry together, but there were times where they weren’t connected and didn’t gel which then meant the scenes were bland, and I wasn’t sure if the aim was meant to be serious or comedic. It needed to push a little stronger in either direction to make the film have a clear intention. However, Bill Nighy steals each scene he’s in - he’s charming, confident and adds that extra dynamic the film required. It’s a shame he wasn’t in it more - he could have made an excellent villain.
As the film develops, Emma and her Husband try to hatch a plan to keep their family safe and Emma out of the assassin business. Emma wants a normal life, but the Sovereign doesn’t want to let her go - their offer is for Emma to kill her husband Dave and her kids will be kept safe. The whole second half of the film doesn't make much sense and feels messy. If you can just go with it, you might enjoy it, but for me it was all over the place and leads absolutely nowhere.
With a happy but poorly devised ending, I was glad this film was over. Role Play overall is a cheesy-action film, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth watching. However, the story was weak and the characters weren’t compelling enough for me to feel invested - Role Play is an easy film to watch but isn’t one that will have longevity.