Goodbye, Butterfly is a gripping good-time crime thriller with a storyline that isn’t complicated (except for the range of emotions displayed). A great story and a great cast make Goodbye Butterfly worth checking out.
After his five-year-old daughter Mia is murdered, inconsolable father Ryan (Adam Donshik), suspects his neighbor (Andrew Lauer) may have played a part in her murder. Ryan decides to take matters into his own hands as he seeks justice and retribution.
Right away you are hooked and aware that this is going to be a good film. The opening sequence is touching and visually striking. Ryan and Mia have a tender father-daughter exchange and several shots display butterflies strewn about her room. The butterflies go beyond just Mia’s preferred decor. Throughout the film, they become a symbol of tragedy, remembrance, hope, and peace.
Ryan and his time-serving, boxing best friend Ty (Tyler Wayne) go on a ruthless manhunt for Mia’s killer. These two are supposed to be best friends and pulling off two best friends that are about to enter into some very heavy situations requires A LOT of onscreen chemistry… and Donshik and Waye have plenty of chemistry to go around. They play off each other extremely well and I could believe in real life that these two are friends. They were a joy to watch and their comedic moments paired dynamically with their moments of frustration and despair.
Andrew Lauer gave an absolute knockout performance as Stan. He manages to tug your heartstrings one minute, then make you rife with unease the next. His character was complex, emotional, uncomfortable, and unsettling. Hats off to Lauer and I cannot wait to see him in future projects.
The setting of Goodbye, Butterfly is visually dynamic. The ghostly grayed-out woods we find Mia’s body in, paired up against a simple suburban home and a dilapidated death trap are visually captivating and keep you engaged and invested. The film is graphic and sad but contains enough engaging action to prevent the film from becoming so overwhelmingly emotional that it can only be watched once. The performances are so strong and the cinematography is captivating, making Goodbye, Butterfly worthy of a watch and a re-watch when the mood strikes.
Overall, the story in Goodbye, Butterfly is solid, simple, and true to the crime thriller genre. It doesn’t go outside the box, break the rules, or do anything super edgy and that is definitely to the film’s benefit. This is the kind of movie that (with a bigger budget) would definitely be in the Liam Neeson wheelhouse. Tyler Wayne followed the KISS method and it paid off spectacularly. Any fan of a good crime thriller will definitely want to say hello to this one.
7 out of 10