ST. LOUIS — There's an old joke about a wife being compared to a ball and chain but in Emma's (Megan Fox) case, it's quite the reality. When she wakes up after a nice night with her husband at a cabin deep in the snowy woods of some remote place, Emma realizes she has a couple problems.
First, she's not dressed for extreme cold weather. Second, her husband doesn't have part of his head attached any longer, and he's handcuffed to her wrist. Oh, and there are bad guys coming for her very soon. What to do?!
That predicament makes up the majority of S.K. Dale's directorial debut, "Till Death," a tightly-produced thriller that knows exactly what it is here to do: ENTERTAIN! Viewers coming here thinking Fox gives some weighty, dramatic performance that pulls a page from Olivia Wilde's galvanizing work in "A Vigilante" will be disappointed--but the thrill-seekers will be pleased. Her work perfectly suits the type of story screenwriter Jason Carvey wishes to tell.
The fact that production took place entirely on a Bulgarian soundstage is doubly impressive, because the cinematography is pinpoint and precise. We feel the sheer cold in the same manner that Emma does, and Fox really sells it here. Have you seen this kind of movie before? Sure, but the setup here is a wicked delight, plunging the audience further into Emma's struggles.
But the real scene-stealer here is Callan Mulvey, who plays one of the thugs coming to "take care" of Emma. You've seen the imposing actor, who looks terrifying without saying a word, in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice." But as Bobby Ray in "Till Death" here, he cuts a particularly deadlier form of menace as a guy who runs into a woman not exactly going out easy.
The cat and mouse game between Fox and Mulvey carries the second half of this breezy 88-minute film. It's Mulvey's villain who carries this thriller to a higher place. The script doesn't carry much substance and you're not likely to think about this movie for a week, but for what it tries to be, "Till Death" succeeds.