THE MURDER OF NICOLE BROWN SIMPSON (2020)

Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson.jpg

Studio:      Quiver Distribution
Director:    Daniel Farrands
Writer:      Michael Arter
Producer:  Lucas Jarach, Daniel Farrands, Eric Brenner
Stars:     Mena Suvari, Nick Stahl, Agnes Bruckner, Drew Roy, Promise LaMarco, Bianca Van Damme, Paul Sloan, Taryn Manning

Review Score:

00.jpg

Summary:

A new suspect emerges in the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson when she crosses paths with a deadly cross-country serial killer.


Synopsis:     

Review:

A counterargument deployed to rebuff negative reviews deemed overly harsh or unfairly insulting claims, ※no one sets out to make a bad movie.§ By default then, this generous declaration makes a good faith assumption that everyone in fact sets out to make a good movie. ※Not true,§ says ※The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson.§ It*s an abjectly awful film whose absurd premise alone suggests not one person involved in the production could have possibly had an objective that wasn*t exploitive, ghoulish, or utterly shameless in nature.

The trailer for ※The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson§ boldly insists that the crime ※still remains unsolved.§ Does it though? Try telling that to the forensic scientists who connected O.J.*s DNA to blood evidence. Or to the civil court jury who unanimously found O.J. liable for Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman*s deaths in his 1997 trial.

Logic-leaping assertions extend to the full movie, which purports to be ※inspired by true events.§ The more accurate phrasing, ※inspired by uncorroborated lies from untrustworthy murderers§ just doesn*t have the same marketing ring to it.

As part of an ultimately unaired promotion for his scuttled book ※If I Did It,§ O.J. gave a 2006 interview in which he echoed his ghostwriter*s fictionalized murder scenario. Fabricating hypothetical conjecture on how the murders might have happened, O.J. invented an imaginary accomplice named ※Charlie.§

Meanwhile, &Casanova Killer* Glen Rogers was fabulizing dubious claims of his own. The Death Row inmate, anxious for attention as well as a stay of execution, was telling people he held the blade that took Nicole*s life. His brother swore he heard Rogers threaten to carry out the act prior to it happening in 1994. Well, color me convinced. What more concrete proof does anyone need?

※The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson§ thus combines both of these implausible fantasies by positing Rogers and ※Charlie§ were the same person, and suggesting he was a lover of Nicole Brown*s too. How sleazy can one setup get? Oh, this sad failure of a film doesn*t come close to stopping there. Where does someone begin itemizing the movie*s endless affronts to accuracy and its sloppy cinematic storytelling?

Following a news clip montage stretched to the wrong aspect ratio, ※The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson§ opens with a stereotypical slasher scene. A buxom woman in a bra and tank top jogs alone down an unlit street at night (eye roll #1 of approximately 198,734). A man in black ominously follows behind. The unnamed woman trips of course. Despite moving at a turtle*s pace, the stalker pulls a supernatural stunt by presumably catching up to the jogger in the bat of a lash. Maybe. Who really knows? The film cuts to a title card before predator and prey come together.

Now we make a non-sequitur jump to Nicole Brown celebrating her 35th birthday. Michael Arter*s woefully hacky script soon starts dropping cow pie dialogue like a corrupt cop planting bloody gloves. Referencing her abusive ex-husband, Nostradamus Nicole prognosticates, ※I*m worried he*s going to kill me one day and he*s going to get away with it.§ If that line were any more on the nose, it would flatten the front of your face to the back of your skull. Nicole also remarks, ※his shoeprints are all over my garden. Size 12 Brunos. I bought him those damn shoes.§ Was this conversation wrung right out of court transcripts?

Joining Glen Rogers and O.J. at the opportunist table, the movie also gives credence to friend Faye Resnick*s unsubstantiated claim of a lesbian love affair with Nicole by depicting the two women kissing. ※The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson§ practically chokes on its own bullsh*t. The film includes a phony monologue about female empowerment pretending to champion Brown as a strong woman. Yet every action she*s tasked with presents the single mother as a sleeps-around socialite who routinely makes terrible choices, particularly when it comes to deadly men.

What*s the point of Nicole idly mentioning to her therapist that she misses having sex with O.J.? Is it really to add some context when Resnick later comes over and suspects Nicole is sleeping with O.J. again even though she*s actually having a one-night stand with serial killer Glen Rogers? Or is it just to be ※juicy?§ (Definitely no pun intended.) Along a similar line, why have Kris Jenner name drop her children Kim and Khloe while walking out of frame other than to pointlessly hitch onto Kardashian fame?

The film almost plays like a Lifetime movie except it favors fetishized sensationalism over soap opera drama. Just as ※The Haunting of Sharon Tate§ (review here), another piece of wretched revisionism from director Daniel Farrands, did to its namesake, ※The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson§ makes Brown*s death her own fault for continually ignoring the wiser guidance of everyone who loved her. If she hadn*t made such poor decisions by putting not one, but two murderers in her bed, she might still be alive today. Is that a reprehensible enough insinuation for you?

※The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson§ can*t even get the basics of a B-grade thriller right. After their tryst ends with terrified Nicole seeing Glen argue with his alter ego ※Charlie,§ the goon next appears in an overlong filler scene where he stalks Nicole while she shops. The camera blandly cuts from his feet to her feet. Nicole clutches her purse while Glen becomes a blur in the background. It*s all so rote. There*s no tension whatsoever in their subsequent half-speed chase as Nicole briskly skips around an outdoor mall courtyard, occasionally glancing back over her shoulder until Glen inevitably disappears.

An out of nowhere sequence features, I*m not kidding, a paranormal presence attacking Nicole as she takes a bath with an inordinate amount of candles adorning her tub. It turns out to be a dream, although Nicole still emerges from it with bruises on her face that she has to explain to her therapist. Does ※The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson§ suddenly want to be a ghost movie? I guess with all credibility already thrown into the gutter, why not infer Freddy Krueger had something to do with Brown*s domestic abuse while we*re at it?

Why do we have to endure two full minutes of their child*s dance recital simply to establish the discomfort of Nicole seeing O.J. sitting in the same auditorium? There are 11 cuts to kids gallivanting around the stage. What about this is necessary information for the audience? Was there no better B-roll available for transitioning between shots of the adults glancing all over the room? None of the movie*s creative choices appear motivated by narrative reasoning, and certainly not by entertainment value either.

After barfing up bizarre notions about unseen evil spirits, a long epilogue settles on pushing the ※Charlie§ angle again with O.J. interview footage, text, and more fantasized fiction involving Glen Rogers. Then end credits quizzically come accompanied by a real 911 call Brown made after being beaten by O.J. What is the movie saying now? ※The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson§ has such little conviction in its own claptrap, it can*t even pick a lane with a singular storyline.

I don*t hand out zeroes often. But whether it*s something significant like Ron Goldman*s characterization being so cursory he may as well not be included at all, or something stupid like Taryn Manning*s distractingly god-awful wig, I can find no redeeming value anywhere in this movie, not even as a tragic curiosity.

There*s no noble reason for a film like this to exist. Say ※ta-ta§ to a movie that*s nothing but tawdry, tacky, tasteless tabloid trash. The garbage can is too charitable of a place to put ※The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson.§ It ought to be fired straight into the sun and disintegrated.

Review Score: 0