In Your Eyes ★★

Joss Whedon’s interesting premise never unfolds to its full potential. It’s a star-crossed lovers story, with a minor sci-fi bent, which isn’t the most interesting foundation to build upon, but begins to show its potential through the middle of the film. It unfortunately never really improves, and the middling performances and low-budget scope become more and more apparent as the film progresses. It’s not all on Whedon’s shoulders, of course, but it’s difficult to see how more competent hands than Brin Hill’s could even have saved this one.

In Your Eyes has the aesthetic - visually and sonically - of an amateur film, with a “soft glow” colour grade and uninspired visuals. But it’s the way the film is constructed - more like a made-for-TV movie than anything else - that weighs it down. It’s not daring in its use of its core conceit, its action and romantic sequences are disposable, and it really doesn’t make you question anything that’s going on.

But my biggest problem with the film is how transparently it telegraphs the course its story will take. The setup - a broke parolee separated from the mentally fragile woman with whom he shares a unique kinship - writes itself almost immediately upon introduction. So with no unique twists, unexpected consequences or any gravity to the situations we experience, and very little of Whedon’s trademark wit and well-sketched characters, we’re not left with much else of interest. It’s on rails, and it’s not going in the direction of anywhere worth going.

If you’re a Whedon fan, you can skip this one. And if you’re not, skip it anyway.

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