Viggo Mortensen‘s post-Lord of the Rings career choices have resulted in a bit of a mish-mash of hits and misses. Everybody Has A Plan, a slight Argentine drama, falls firmly in the latter camp.
To his credit he does his best to carry this one (with two roles and in Spanish, no less), but plot failings let him down.
Mortensen plays twin brothers Agustin and Pedro. The former, an unhappily married urban doctor, is visited by the latter, a low criminal, just as his marriage is in its death throws.
Also dying is Pedro, who wants his brother’s help in going on his way. Agustin is only too happy to help out, committing a brutal act of bathtub fratricide.
Agustin, now alone in the world, assumes his brother’s identity so he can go back to the strange, estuary community where they both grew up — the sort of place where bodies float in reed beds and where the law is present in name only.
There, Agustin keeps his brother’s bees, confuses his brother’s young employee Rosa (Sofia Gala) and rouses suspicion in his brother’s lowlife kidnap gang, including Adrian (a raspy, threatening Daniel Fanego), with who he has previous.
Mortensen is as Mortensen does — he broods like he did in Eastern Promises and A History of Violence, with which Everybody Has A Plan shares some similarities.
But to describe the pace as sedate would be doing it a favour. Continents have drifted faster than this plot progresses, and any number of beautiful visuals (and there a great number) can’t make up for the slow path to an unsatisfactory conclusion.
Director Ana Piterbarg adapted this from her own screenplay, and there’s enough here to warrant interest in a future project, perhaps working from someone else’s idea.