10 Days of a Bad Man (2023) Movie Review – A decent follow-up marred by a disappointing juggling act

A decent follow-up marred by a disappointing juggling act

Turkish film 10 Days of a Good Man came out in March, earlier this year. Its sequel, set within the same universe and mainly featuring the same characters, has recently been released on Netflix ahead of schedule.

While it is rare to see a sequel come out so early, it is not uncommon for a fast-tracked sequel to be more of a miss than a hit. This is the case here. 

The plot in 10 Days of a Bad Man picks up two years after the events of the last movie, not in Eskişehir but in Tosyo where Sadik narrowly escapes death in a brutal car accident. 

Sir is still keeping track of him and ropes Sadik in for another case. Sir wants him to track down someone called Ferhat Gonen but doesn’t want Sadik to make contact. With a new case, Sadik also wants to embrace a new identity, calling himself “Adil,” something Fatos, his wife, had wished he did. Sadik has his hands full as an old friend comes calling for help with one more case, which involves a corporate chain of hospitals and a murder in cold blood.

That straightaway is the big difference in the sequel. Juggling two investigations and Sadik’s character arc was always going to be difficult. While Uluç Bayraktar does not make a meal of the task, his execution is lacklustre.

Bayraktar has the support of writers Mehmet Eroglu and Damla Serim once again, which lends familiarity to the setup. The tone of the storytelling and general viscosity of the dialogue is quite similar to the previous film. But this time around, the trio do little to invest viewers in their film. Somewhere along the line, Hasmet’s case becomes a distraction and this needlessly adds to the runtime. 

A clear mismatch emerges when you put both subplots side by side. Although neither has as much depth as the first film, one of them still qualifies as passable. More groundwork was needed to establish the cases with a semblance of mystery and notoriety about them. Sadik-Adil’s arc also suffers due to this infructuous decision-making. Bayraktar and the writers are not clear about where to commit their resources and time. This allows disconnectedness to creep in and pulls apart the character study and narrative.

The intertwining in “Good Man” made a huge difference as both aspects of the storytelling refined and supported the other. 

The sequel loses that synergy and sets itself up to fail. Our protagonist’s investigation in this one isn’t nearly as immersive enough to make us care. The fleeting moments of Islaer’s character where he isn’t able to get over Fatos are far and in between. Did it not matter to the creators as much this time? Was Sadik-Adil’s tragedy less “tragic” this time around? The notion seems true given the choices made. His “involvement” with Pinar instantly reminded me of Dead Reckoning: Part 1, where Ferguson’s replacement with Hayley Atwell was not received well. Although Fatos wasn’t as endeared to us in “Good Man,” Sadik-Adil’s connection to her was the redemption of his soul.

Its significance was towering in the scheme of things. And perhaps that was not as tangible as it seemed in the writers’ room. Even though it is not problematic given the optimism we find in second chances, in hindsight, it does not feel right. Pinar is definitely the more interesting of the two characters. With her breakout performance in the film, Ilayda Akdogan has ensured that at least a third film, if it happens, will have better continuity. And perhaps decisions were made with a third film in mind.

Nejat Islaer once again remains the highlight as Sadik-Adil. The Turkish acting powerhouse seamlessly brings to the surface his character’s pain and growing indifference. The latter quality of his character is a big part of the characterization this time around. And he lends it a delightful shade of irony and melancholic rue. His screen presence is reassuring and the perfect anchor for the storytelling. Akdogan is the other standout performer along with him. Their scenes progress organically to be believable and affecting. Both actors share impressive chemistry that invests us in their romantic entanglement, even though it sometimes feels a little misplaced. 

10 Days of a Bad Man is a decent follow-up and will please fans of the first film. However, the team over-complicated things with unnecessary creative inventions that have no bearing on the cinematic universe or its characters. The sequel’s disappointing juggling act makes it chunkier and more obtuse, thieving away the accessibility we felt as viewers to the story in the first film.


Read More: 10 Days Of A Bad Man – Ending Explained

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  • Verdict - 5.5/10

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