When his brother John is found dead in a lake in Singapore, Gerry (Aiden Gillen) leaves his wife at home and heads over there to organise the funeral, take care of John's grieving wife and look after his business. We know that there is something back home that Gerry is running from, and slowly but surely, filling in his brother's shoes, Gerry begins to get a little too comfortable living his dead brother's life, getting ever closer to his widow, and not even blinking at the prostitution and loan-shark dealings being done from the bar John owned.
Due to the dead brother plot, Asian setting, overtones of sex and violence, and the heavy use of deep red within the colour palette on screen, Mister John has more than a passing resemblance to Only God Forgives. However, to those who found that Ryan Gosling vehicle a little too slow and naval-gazing, you're sure to find this movie almost entirely unendurable.
Lost luggage, snake bites, transvestites, water ghosts, flashbacks to an off-screen argument and what is sure to go down in history as one of cinema's worst ever dream sequences, all these story elements come together to make a truly insipid, often stupefyingly boring film.
Try as they might to improve things with some nice cinematography and a truly haunting score, writer/directors Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy were clearly aiming for something higher, more experiential and emotive than plot driven. However it just arrives flat, like no two pages of the abysmal screenplay were related in any way.
Gillen shows no signs of life here, intending to come across as disconnected but instead delivering lines as if English wasn't his first (or even second) language, unsure of which emotion should be delivered with which word. At one point in the film, he monotonously announces 'I don’t know what I'm doing.' This one line of dialogue could speak volumes for nearly everyone involved in the making of this movie.