Emma Corinne, Harry Styles and David Dawson in My Cop. (YouTube/Main Studios)
In his second film in as many months, Harry Styles returns to play the male lead in My Cop, this time on Amazon Prime. The results are… Well.
Directed by Michael Grandage and based on the book by Bethan Roberts, the film is split into two timelines, the late 1950s and the late 1990s, as we follow the complex relationships between the three characters.
Set in the 1950s, we meet young adults Tom (Harry Styles), Marion (Emma Corrine) and Patrick (David Dawson).
Forty years later, Patrick (Rupert Everett), who has just suffered a stroke, moves into the home of Marion (Gina Mackie) and Tom (Linus Roach) under their constant care.
Of course, all is not as it seems. Now married, Marion and Tom have a complicated history with their guests.
The film alternates between long and short periods as the audience begins to discover how these three people met and why there is always a strange tension in the air .
The film focuses on Marion and Patrick's relationship with Tom and tries to maintain a sense of mystery while watching the same scenes from different angles of the two characters.
The audience soon learns that while Tom was courting Marion, Patrick and Tom were having a secret affair behind his back.
If all this sounds like Humpback Mountain to you, you are not far off. In fact, there is the same scene when Marion suggests that Patrick and Tom have a satisfying meeting in the barn.
As the plot begins to unfold, we get classic gay trauma, police brutality and, as usual, a happy ending that comes too late.
So how does Harry Styles get in shape? His acting is quite good and he can even fit the role perfectly.
Affectionately known as "my cop", Tom becomes the object of Marion and Patrick's lust and becomes a cardboard copy of everything they put on him. In a way, he fits the role of a cute and naive person trying to find his way in a world that is completely new to him.
And after Stiles' vague comments about how the movie's sex scenes are usually "softer" than the guys just "doing it," they were also pretty average.
But, just as he suffered in " Don't Worry Darling ," when he was up against an incredibly talented cast, his performance here sometimes feels a little lackluster by comparison.
Corinne and Dawson excel in their roles, fighting to be the strongest character of the trio and standing up for their opinions. There is a real underlying tension between them that makes the audience squirm in their seats.
There are some particularly outstanding scenes where we can see the desperation and conflict of the situation on Corinne's face.
And these days, shots of a bleak English coastline with the utterly miserable Everett, Mackie and Roach are enough to show the desperate sadness of the trio's plight.
However, the film tries to do too much at once and doesn't give itself the space to pull it all off. It makes no sense what happened in the 40 years between now and then, or how Marion and Tom's relationship lasted so long.
The film also tries to use motifs from newspapers, fine art and seascapes, but sometimes its additions seem clumsy or overdone. There are sudden scenes, such as when Marion encounters one of her departing companions, and the character is never seen again.
My Police certainly has its strengths, with some excellent performances from all the leads, but it doesn't really stand out. At the end, there is a great feeling of "everything was right" and there are more questions than answers.
My Cop will be in theaters on October 21st and will be available to watch on Amazon Prime on November 4th.