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Benicio Del Toro Elevates REPTILE Despite A Predictable Plot And Formulaic Storytelling

Reptile is the latest prestige movie from Netflix boasting of an incredible cast and a tightly written story. As a crime-thriller, Reptile really works, however, when pulling at its threads, the seams begin to come apart. And this is despite some amazing performances and a good story, told in a very familiar way. Read on for my Reptile review to see if you should watch this or skip it.

Please note that this Reptile review will contain some spoilers about the story and certain characters.

Reptile Works As A Crime-Thriller But Little Else

Reptile review Silverstone.

Image via Netfilx.

Reptile sees the story begin with the gruesome murder of a real estate agent found by her partner, Will Grady (Justin Timberlake). This murder is what kickstarts the story that sees a group of veteran cops, led by Tommy (Benicio Del Toro) investigating the homicide. What follows is a pretty by-the-numbers plot of finding suspects, the victim’s history, motives, etc.— sprinkled in with character development of Tommy, and his professional and personal life.

But despite being very formulaic in its approach, as this Reptile review will discuss, the movie is still very captivating and totally watchable. Despite the familiarity in storytelling and recognizable plot points, it’s still very easy to get caught up in the goings of the story and become engaged in the story. But that’s where the enjoyment of Reptile starts and stops. Because if seen as anything else other than the formulaic crime-thriller, things begin to fall apart.

This Reptile Review Will Contain Spoilers

Reptile review Del Toro.

Image via Netfilx.

The plot of Reptile is entirely predictable. While an arrest happens as to the most likely killer on paper, given that it happens halfway into the movie, audiences can easily recognize that there’s more to come. Of course, there’s a conspiracy. Of course, the murder of this innocent real estate agent is part of a larger crime with even more people involved. And instantly, when you see a group of veteran cops leading the investigation, your attention eventually will be drawn to them.

It’s a tried and tested conspiracy trope that many crime-thrillers have successfully employed. Reptile gives us nothing new to that genre, nor does it try to. In many ways, Reptile is seemingly just a star vehicle for Del Toro, who gives an incredible performance. And to be honest, the cast of Reptile is very good. If only the story itself lived up to their talents as well.

The Cast Is Incredible Despite A Convoluted Story

Reptile review Timberlake.

Image via Netfilx.

Del Toro is firing on all cylinders as a cop with a past, who has to do the right thing here. Alicia Silverstone is surprisingly good as Tommy’s wife, in a role that’s usually not the kind of movies we see her in. Justin Timberlake is serviceable in a counterintuitive performance that was pleasantly surprising.

The rest of the supporting cast is just as great, albeit, seemingly existing only to act as Red Herrings to the larger mystery at play. Certain characters are just there, behaving in ways that absolutely cast suspicion on them, and the climax reveals that it was justified. There is one character who was completely out of place and something that they never explain, and that’s _. Although, as mentioned, Reptile seems not as interested in trying to do something different.

Reptile Review Ends On A Positive Note; A Watchable Movie

Overall, Reptile is watchable. It’s a riveting thriller that goes from plot point to plot point with a pretty good pace with performances that are engaging to watch. It’s almost like a decent cover of a great song; something you can enjoy listening to because you know what’s coming.

Reptile debuts on Netflix on September 29, 2023.

What did you think of this Reptile review? Let me know in the comments below, or follow me on X (Twitter) at @theshahshahid for more movie reviews and discussions.

Benicio Del Toro Elevates REPTILE Despite A Predictable Plot And Formulaic Storytelling
  • Acting - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 6.5/10
    6.5/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 6/10
    6/10
  • Setting/Theme - 7/10
    7/10
  • Watchability - 6.5/10
    6.5/10
  • Rewatchability - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
Overall
6.8/10
6.8/10
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