Set around the 1970s, the film focuses on the life of Ted Bundy (Zac Efron) who is accused of violently murdering multiple women. Ted is soon arrested and attends various court hearings. Upon arrest, Ted pleads not guilty and doesn’t understand how he could be accused of such crimes. For those who are not aware, this film is based on the actual life events of Ted Bundy himself, but this film chooses to focus on those surrounding Ted during the investigations as well as the arrest and the court trial.
To get right into the positives, I enjoyed seeing Zac Efron accept the challenge of a more serious role and breaking away from comedy spoofs or being the pretty boy in films. Zac Efron’s effort here in playing Ted Bundy has many moments that I found positive, in particular during the film’s last act. Despite this, many moments throughout the duration feel slightly weak and just didn’t carry the convincing power that was needed to convince the audience he was who he claimed to be. His character also had many repeated actions, hindering development. Overall I respect the actor for giving it a stable crack and bring something new to the screen.
I enjoyed the film’s looks and overall style as it goes back in the past. Interestingly enough, after watching the movie, I discovered that this film used photographs of the real-life murders to make the style feel dark and dirty. In this regard, the mission set out by the directors and writers has been well achieved, in my opinion.
As for the film’s pacing, this film is truly a slow burner. The majority of the film is simply Ted claiming he didn’t do it and him explaining this plea to multiple characters around him. Maybe for those who don’t know the truth about Ted Bundy, you might be curious, but if you know the facts and outcomes (like myself), then the film will feel like a slow burner that doesn’t carry any surprises or grab you. As for the film’s name and title, I’m not a fan of it, and it’s far too long (there- I confessed!)
Overall, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (phew, that’s a long title!) shares the real events of Ted Bundy, but as a film but it’s slow-paced, and it dragged. Zac Efron is giving it a solid shot as an actor, but unfortunately he can sound repeated and worn out.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden