Extremely, Wicked, Shockingly, Evil and Vile
I have been getting into documentaries about crimes and conspiracies recently. I had checked out the Ted Bundy documentary a few weeks back. I was fairly familiar with most serial killer cases seeing as I have a background in forensic psychology. When I heard Joe Berlinger was making a movie to kind of go as a companion piece to his documentary series I was excited. Then I realized it was going to be a Netflix film and knew it was going to be terrible. It is confirmed, this was quite bad.
The film is primarily about the relationships and court trial stage of Ted Bundy’s life. Zac Efron plays Bundy and portrays the not as violent portions of his life. Showing his early relationship with Liz Kendall and the craziness of his court trial where Bundy even decided to represent himself and be his own counsel. Of course, Ted Bundy was eventually tried for his crimes and fried in the electric chair. Good riddance. Touchy subject yes, but if you are going to make a movie about this evil man it needs to be effective and focus on his killings.
This felt like a useless and tame look into a serial killer. If you are going to make a movie like this in the first place it needs to really focus on what made him so inhumane and kind of be raw and gritty with a look into what actually happened. Instead this was a quasi-romanticizing telling of Bundy’s relationships and his charm and confidence in court. I’m not saying that’s not important but it doesn’t need to be the full focus of the film. Lily Collins character, what purpose does she serve? She just fades into the background and mopes around.
I think Efron was good in this film and is able to capture some of Bundy’s mannerisms but the performance is wasted on a extremely tame and shockingly generic film that leaves the mind just as soon as it enters. Berlinger’s documentary touches on all the important aspects that it needs to but the film shies away from everything and is unremarkable.