Peter Five Eight (2024)

Peter Five Eight Review

Peter Five Eight

Since we were last graced with a Kevin Spacey film, many things have happened. Since 2017, when accusations arose that the actor previously loved by all and sundry was a paedophile, his career has gone to hell. He was replaced by the infinitely superior Christopher Plummer in All the Money in the World (Ridley Scott), fired from House of Cards, his Gore Vidal biopic for Netflix is now never going to see the light of day, and Billionaire Boys’ Club was dumped in a few cinemas and then on VOD where it made about $126. He’s had a few years in limbo alright. But acquitted of all charges and despite this very strange series of coincidences around him, he’s back. Kind of.

Besides those weird Christmas videos that became as much a part of Christmas as The Late Late Toy Show or booing the Queen, he has been doing some work over these past two years. In true ‘slumming American actor’, he took an Italian film – Franco Nero’s vanity project L’uomo che disegnò Dio (2022) where he played a small role for no doubt an obscene amount of money or favours owed; and he did voice only for a no-budget British thriller called Control (2023). But this – Peter Five Eight by director Michael Zaiko Hall – is supposed to be his comeback.

So you’d think with Hollywood screaming at us to let him act again that this would be something that could give him another chance? Or rather would you not think this would be so low-rent, so chintzy and so cruddy that if he does continue to act it will mean nothing but straight-to-streaming low rent grot…?

Well do I have news for you! Despite Stephen Fry saying we should welcome him back and Sharon Stone telling us what “everybody knows”, it seems all these years in the wilderness have probably blunted his skills somewhat.

Beginning with scenic views of the Californian countryside and 50s-style music and fonts, like a kind of deranged melding of Douglas Sirk and Hitchcock, you’d think ‘oh, this is at least trying to be a classy period piece?’ So when we see it is set in present day small town rural California we’re like ‘Oh, they didn’t have the budget’. We see modern cars but our heroine Sam (Jet Jandreau) and other characters dress like it’s the 50s.

It hypes up Kev’s return as he exits a car smoking a fag, dressed entirely in black (including wig), fedora over his head. The music swells up like he’s a big bad, the film telling us “yeah he’s back”. The dialogue is terrible. “Listen here, you local yokel”. “What’s that supposed to mean?” He is given long meandering monologues told in a near-monotone hinting at some kind of near-apocalyptic setting. It also plays Kevin’s notoriety up having him tell us that he “is doomed to play the villain’s part” or “Cigarettes are killers that travel in packs”. Either Kevin Spacey’s years out of work have sapped him of his talent or the producers of this film didn’t want the talent; they just wanted the name to ride his notoriety. Like one of those low-rent British gangster films starring ‘alleged crook’ Dave Courtney.

Presently much bulkier and swaying around like a ship changing direction, Spacey seems off. That voice is stuck on Frank Underwood mode, bellowing monotonously in a southern accent out of Foghorn Leghorn as if he doesn’t care what he’s saying. The truth is, Kevin Spacey is unwatchable as an actor. He’s worse than Mark Rylance. No screen presence, no sign of versatility or any charisma he may once have had.

The film itself is godawful. Some mumpy about estate agent Sam (Jandreau – pretty but vapid) who is violent alcoholic while her older partner played by Rebecca De Mornay (a world away from Risky Business and The Hand that Rocks the Cradle) is being stalked/unconvincingly romanced by mystery man Peter (Spacey), who is an agent of a secret organisation headed by Jake Weber (Medium, Dawn of the Dead). There isn’t really much to say about it. The USP of this film is Spacey; this film has one gimmick – it has got Kevin Spacey in it. It’s no different to when sexploitation films would cast Playboy playmates.

If it resembles anything though, it’s Michael Flatley’s Blackbird. Because obviously both those and this have Modern Day 50s vibes in them. And yet it is filled with modern hi-tech stuff that thinks it’s impressive but could be bought in a Curry’s; supposedly Hitchcockian chases that end up looking like an episode of Chucklevision.

That said what comes across most strongly when watching the film is not ego project for Spacey nor even star/producer Jet Jandreau who also acts produces but sings as well however her main theme for this movie being ‘We’ll Meet Again’ yes as in Vera Lynn which I suppose was supposed help along with retro vibe but instead it just feels so out of place and Jandreau’s German accent doesn’t help her flat line delivery or lack charisma but she is more likeable than Spacey and more interested in the film than De Mornay.

This is clearly Jandreau’s movie, despite not being the director. But why did they make this film? Do they really think people want to see Spacey and De Mornay have sex? The longer it goes on, the worse it gets. Rather than making you think ‘We’ve missed Spacey’ it makes you think ‘How did this guy ever have a career?’

Watch Peter Five Eight For Free On Gomovies.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top