Zac Efron plays serial killer Ted Bundy in Joe Berlinger’s film out now. Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews…

The Guardian: ** “Efron is clever casting, the most startling since Tony Curtis became The Boston Strangler in the 1968 film. He is a queasily parodic hottie. But I found something questionable and obtuse in the fundamental procedure of this movie. It doesn’t glorify or glamorise Bundy in any obvious way, but it persists in taking him at his own estimation of himself.”

IGN: “The performances are great, and the film tries to do something new with the serial killer genre, but its misguided tone and an abrupt change of focus halfway through the film are hard to overlook, even if it’s somehow also one hell of a courtroom comedy.”

Empire: *** “It’s extremely flattering casting to put Zac Efron in the role of Ted Bundy, the serial killer who murdered at least 30 women in the 1970s. Bundy didn’t have teen heartthrob looks or the physique of an Olympic wrestler, but the aesthetic upgrade is done with purpose: to over-exaggerate the scary charisma Bundy possessed, which let him seduce both his victims and the media, when his case went to trial. It’s a brilliantly creative choice, setting the tone for a movie that’s occasionally too lighthearted for its own good, but always intriguingly odd.”

The Independent: ** “Extremely Wicked certainly doesn’t glamourise Bundy, but it does somewhat sanitise him.”

The Wrap: “Efron is savagely convincing in the most psychologically-layered performance of his career. The actor’s persona as an attractive, clean-cut, straight white man groomed within the Disney machinery — further cemented by turns in bro-friendly comedies — has positioned him as the perfect choice to personify the kind of evil that festers beneath a wholesome façade, neatly packaged for self-preservation.”

Rolling Stone: ** 1/2 “So why doesn’t the movie work, despite Efron giving it his all and then some? It’s one thing for Elizabeth to show a blind eye to the real Bundy. It’s another to ask audiences to share her delusion.”

Indie Wire: “Efron, transformed here into something scary and alluring in equal measure, is able to bring his own take to the character. The actor has been clear that he didn’t go the Method route when playing Bundy, and the choice was a smart one, letting Efron explore his own angles in a complex story.”

www.independent.ie: *** “Based on Elizabeth Kloepfer’s memoir, The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy, the film boasts a strong cast and a fascinating set-up. Unfortunately, it never takes off. Sketchy, scrappy and surprisingly soulless, what we have here is a story that touches on everything but moves far too fast to explore anything.”

The Telegraph: ** “lively if abysmally named dramatisation of his arrest, various trials and escapes, and then imprisonment.”

Advertisements