Incompetent bosses. Snake in the grass co-workers. Somebody ate your sandwich. Days at the office are enough to drive you mad. But, just another daily grind before the next one. Unless of course things went crazy and Mayhem ensued.
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Derek Cho (Played by The Walking Dead‘s Steven Yeun) is the rising star of the Towers And Smythe lawfirm. Winning a landmark case that allowed a man, under the influence of a psychotic virus that loosened inhibitions, to walk free after committing a brutal murder. Only to find himself the scapegoat for a corporate snafu by the partners upstairs, forcibly firing and removing him… at the same time that very same virus has run rampant in the office, infecting everyone within for 8 hours while the CDC keeps them quarantined within. Teaming up with an equally justified disgruntled client of the firm named Melanie Cross (Ash vs Evil Dead‘s Samara Weaving), they decide to climb to the top and get back at the bastard bosses that screwed them.
The latest by director Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2, Everly) is a tour de force of white collar brutality and action. Not to mention some really funny bits of white collar brutality and action! The film is presented in an almost Scorsese – Wolf of Wallstreet style with Derek acting as our POV character and narrator throughout the carnage. Almost like if Thomas Middleditch’s character in Wolf decided to go back up into the office after being fired and beating Jonah Ray and Leonardo DiCaprio’s characters to death.
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Despite comparisons to similar ‘worksploitation’ movies like The Belko Experiment, Mayhem is truly a level of its own. Being more of an anti-authority story of how the bosses on top can be corrupt and just how bad things can be when what little inhibitions they have get let loose like a raging bull. Exemplified when Towers (Teen Wolf’s Steven Brand) sends flunkies and goons to take Derek out while doing his best Tony Montana impression of snorting a bowl of cocaine. Plus, how awesome it is to see Steven Yeun and Samara Weaving fight, shoot, and bludgeon their way through a crazed horde. And on the two, Derek and Melanie make for a compelling team up in this crazy scenario. Working well off of one another and able to make smalltalk about music in between cracking skulls.
And the action choreography of Mayhem really stands out, in particular when Derek and Melanie have to fight the white collar version of The Warriors Baseball Furies. The soundtrack is well put together and with some surprising tracks, makes for an unforgettable album. While not quite as bloody as I was expecting, the movie delivers an ample amount of violence and a surprising amount of heart to go with it that will not only deliver the catharsis of the the daily work grind, but inspire hope.
Image and Feature Image via EW