There’s something oddly appealing about the kind of movie that encourages you to turn off your brain for 90 minutes while a gun-toting badass takes down a bunch of bad guys in extremely violent fashion. Perhaps it’s the 13-year-old boy stowed away in the back of our psyches, giddy at the prospect of an entire film overflowing with blood, boobs and explosions. Some of cinema’s guiltiest pleasures have followed this formula to great success (most recently, the Keanu Reeves actioner “John Wick”), and although director Joe Lynch’s “Everly” desperately wants to join those ranks as the next cult classic shoot-‘em-up, it falls disappointingly short on a number of levels.
After serving as a sex slave for ruthless crime boss Taiko (Hiroyuki Watanabe) for the past five years, Everly (Salma Hayek) has finally had enough, striking a deal with one of the few honest cops in town to place her in witness protection in exchange for her testimony against Taiko. But Everly’s dreams of finally meeting her young daughter, Maisey (Aisha Ayamah), whom she left in the care of her mother (Laura Cepeda) as a baby, are quickly destroyed when Taiko learns of her betrayal, placing a bounty on her head that attracts all sorts of weirdoes to the swanky apartment where she’s holed up. Convinced that she won’t make it through the night alive, Everly instructs her mother to come pick up the getaway money at her apartment instead, inadvertently pulling her family into the conflict as she fends off countless waves of ferocious intruders intent on collecting the reward.