You know what will be fun after the pandemic -- theme parties. With the entire art scene having collapsed, it'll never be cheaper to hire out-of-work actors to run your haunted mansion, or just pay an entire improv group some exposure to dust off their old Murder on the Orient Express costumes and host a murder mystery party. What I'm saying, is, there'll really no need to spend millions of dollars letting James McAvoy run through a city-wide escape room and film it.
Have you ever wanted to see a good actor do bad improv? Well, in 2021, excited movie-stayer-inners will get to pay for the privilege to see James McAvoy run through an entire detective movie without having read the script -- which is just another way of saying that we're about to watch McAvoy play a Live Action Role Playing adventure. Based on the French movie of the same name (ugh, don't you hate it when they publish a module twice), in My Son, McAvoy plays a level 16 actor who must Bluff check his way through past cast members that have a full-script. The adventure is pretty boilerplate: His son has gone missing, and he has to travel to his ex-wife's small town to figure out which dastardly villain he needs to defeat to finish the campaign.
Of course, as every Dungeon Master knows about single-player adventures, the real flop-risk here is not James McAvoy's talent as an actor, but as a detective. And you'd think there'd be some narrative leniency for the sake of the poor editor afterward, but according to the studio's chairman: "James will be doing the detective work of the film in real-time, on camera, to create real tension for this thriller." Detective work. In real-time. On camera. Unless you're a Colombo-level detecting genius (and I'm talking about Peter Falk here), that feels like a recipe for audiences screaming warnings at the screen like they're watching the world's dumbest teen in a '90s slasher movie.
Because if he's just really crap at it? What if James McAvoy the guy they have to emergency evac out of an escape room because he threw an old-timey gas lantern into an Egyptian rug out of frustration for not figuring out the first puzzle? What if My Son is just two hours of McAvoy, a rich actor, fiddling with his spotty GPS on a country road until he gets a call telling him they've fished his kid out of a nearby pond? (Actually, that sounds like a great movie.) All I'm saying is they've really squandered an opportunity by not casting Liam Neeson.
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Top Image: Gage Skidmore