Christian Bale is undoubtedly one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood. He is famous for his dedication to rapidly changing his weight as his roles demand, and most of his films have been huge successes since the last decade.
In 2022, he played in three films—the most number of films he acted in in a year. But none of the films was critically acclaimed, as they poorly utilised Bale's acting potential.
The last Christian Bale film of 2022 is the newly premiered The Pale Blue Eyes, which is about a 19th-century murder mystery but fails to take advantage of the acting genius of Bale and other members of the ensemble cast.
The year is 1830 at the US Military Academy at West Point, New York. It was all fine until a gruesome murder happened - a cadet was murdered, and then his heart was ripped out. A murder inside a military base is always kept hidden from public eyes, so detective Augustus Landor (played by Christian Bale) is called out of retirement to investigate.
While investigating the case, Augustus enlists the help of young Edgar Allen Poe, who is a new recruit at the military academy. Another murder happens, and it's up to the duo to investigate these peculiar murders. Motives behind the murder could be investigated, but why rip the heart out of every victim?
Is it related to sorcery? Or is it the signature killing of the murderer? Augustus and Edgar Allen dig deep into the mystery, and in a series of dangers and twists, the real murderers get revealed.
The Pale Blue Eye has an ensemble cast. Apart from Christian Bale, Harry Melling is really an underrated actor. His acting was critically acclaimed in the Harry Potter series, The Devil All the Time, and The Queen's Gambit, and he plays Edgar Allen Poe in this film.
Gillian Anderson from The X-files and The Crown and Robert Duvall from The Godfather series also played supporting roles here. But using the acting capabilities of this cast wasn't enough for this film to be critically acclaimed.
Director Scott Cooper is known for weak plotlines in his films, and The Pale Blue Eye is no exception.
Releasing a mystery thriller film during the holiday season doesn't seem like a good idea, as the audience generally prefers to enjoy uplifting movies during that time.
Moreover, weak story development makes this film monotonous to watch. Despite Bale being a versatile actor, 2022 is an unfortunate year for his acting career and poor director choice.
Though The Pale Blue Eye premiered in the last week of December, it'll be available on Netflix on January 6 for the global audience if anyone's up for a mystery film with a stellar cast.