He Went That Way, the new crime film from man of the moment Jacob Elordi and Hollywood heavyweight Zachary Quinto, has landed in cinemas, and critics have had their say in the first reviews.
There’s the recently-released Priscilla, in which 26-year-old Elordi plays Elvis Presley in the biopic of his wife’s life, plus Jeffrey Darling’s directorial feature He Went That Way, which he stars in alongside out gay Down Low actor Zachary Quinto.
Sadly, there’s nothing too queer about He Went That Way: it’s actually based on the true story of an animal trainer who, with his pet chimpanzee, picks up a hitchhiker who turns out to be a serial killer.
Jacob Elordi plays Bobby Falls, who is based on real life serial killer Larry Lee Ranes, while Zachary Quinto stars as Jim Goodwin, an animal trainer based on Dave Pitts, who was the sole survivor of Ranes’ murderous rampage.
The trailer, released back in December, teases heart-pounding tension, gun-slinging, close calls and dramatic escapes. However, according to critics, He Went That Way isn’t really worth your time.
Sadly, the film has garnered a miserable 21 per cent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on reviews from 14 critics. As one put it, He Went That Way “consistently goes the wrong way”.
Writing in The Hollywood Reporter, critic David Rooney said that despite the premise for the film suggesting “something with edge and compelling strangeness”, it sadly ends up as an “ineffectual true-crime road trip” that “is entirely lacking in danger”.
“It plays like a tonally uncertain blend of desert neo-noir, prickly buddy movie, misfit character study and crime thriller, with zero psychological grounding and even less suspense,” he added.
“There’s also a homoerotic undercurrent that may or may not be intended, but either way, yields nothing of interest.”
In a review with just a touch more positivity, IndieWire’s Christian Zilko declared that the film is “sumptuous” and “competent”, but added that it is “emotionally thin” and the relationship between Bobby and Jim is “never fully fleshed out”.
According to the New York Times’ critic Glenn Kenny, “Elordi’s performance here lacks the discipline” of Saltburn and Priscilla, and his “acrobatics don’t mesh particularly well with Quinto’s dry understatement”.
In fact, he adds, “few things in this laboriously quirky picture mesh at all”.
Yet the most savage review comes from Patrice Witherspoon in ScreenRant, who describes He Went That Way as “pretty much a dumpster fire from start to finish”.
“Had it not been for Quinto’s charmingly sweet character, this could have easily received a walkout from me,” Witherspoon shared, adding that the script “begins to feel like a plethora of random ideas thrown together with the hope that something coherent comes out on the other end”.
If you’re brave enough, He Went That Way is out in cinemas now.