"very much a cliched tale of a romantic holiday gone bad with it being loaded with the familiar beats of guilt and anger over past infidelity"
It’s easy to write a review of a good film, you simply heap praise upon it. It’s even easier to write a review of a bad film, you simply heap scorn upon it.
Welcome Home is one of those films that someone like me dreads having to write a review for, with it being neither a particularly good film nor is it a particularly bad film. Welcome Home is one of those films that instead falls firmly into the category that no film wishes to fall into; mediocrity.
Bryan and Casey take a vacation to an Italian villa in an attempt to repair their damaged relationship. However, their supposed romantic reconciliation soon turns into a nightmare with the arrival of a mysterious stranger who claims to be a neighbour of the homeowner.
The film’s cast does their best with the material they're saddled with turning in performances that are better than this film deserves, and frankly, these actors deserve to be in better films.
Aaron Paul essentially reprises that same loveable douche bag persona that made his performance in Breaking Bad so engaging and endearing. You kind of hate him at first, but there’s just something about him that you can’t help but like. However, despite his efforts, even Paul seems to be struggling with the role, with his delivery and manner suggesting that his heart might not be entirely in this performance.
Emily Ratajkowski also gives a fine performance as Paul’s guilt-ridden girlfriend, with the actress managing to be somewhat charming and likeable in the role, even if the script really doesn’t give her much to work with, leaving her character arc feeling rather uninteresting by the end.
Out of the cast, only Riccardo Scamarcio (who looks so much like Javier Bardem it’s eerie) saves the film somewhat with his sometimes entertaining (if slightly heavy-handed) performance as the mysterious Federico.
Scamarcio is clearly just having fun being the villain with all the sinister mugging and suggestive monologues about hunting that one could wish for, with the actors sinister and clear enthusiasm for the role making it a rare bright spot in this otherwise bland film.
The production itself is nothing special nor is it anything that’s going to linger in the mind when the credits roll. The film’s direction and script are serviceable enough with the film moving from story beats at a steady pace that doesn’t bog itself down with unnecessary sub-plots but is also devoid of much excitement or interesting characters.
The film’s story is very much a cliched tale of a romantic holiday gone bad with it being loaded with the familiar beats of guilt and anger over past infidelity, a creepy stranger who wants to make the couples holiday even worse, all of which somehow makes the perfect recipe for a romantic reconciliation. Like a lot of aspects of this film, the story is not badly executed but it doesn’t bring anything new to the table nor does it do anything that’s going to make me remember it.
Welcome Home is a decently acted and decently directed but entirely bland and uninteresting film. The cast does their best with what they have, and the film’s direction and story, while otherwise decent, is far too run of the mill and uneventful to leave even a hint of a lasting impression. All in all, Welcome Home is not a good film nor is it a bad film. However, it is the worst thing a film could be; it's forgettable.