Ho hum. If this film catches you off guard you don't see enough movies. Everything is so clearly signposted that you can't possibly be surprised by any of the Big Plot Twists, right to the bombastic finale in (where else?) an abandoned warehouse. Meanwhile, Pacino delivers one of his most scene-chewing performances ever, barking his dialog and snapping the veins in his neck, even in the supposedly quiet scenes. Farrell and Moynahan fare much better, grabbing our interest and carrying us through the film. Yes, this is very watchable, glossy entertainment with a nice sheen of intelligence running through it along with subtext about Clayton's missing-presumed-dead father (but it's all show). Technically, it's efficiently well-made, and the story is constructed tight enough that we only see the gaping holes if we pause to think about them, which is something the filmmakers work very hard to keep us from doing. By the time the plot starts closing in on the requisite ending, we have almost convinced ourselves that this is a good little thriller. Then as it begins to play its final hand we realize that it's just the same old rubbish after all.
dir Roger Donaldson|
scr Roger Towne, Kurt Wimmer, Mitch Glazer
with Colin Farrell, Al Pacino, Bridget Moynahan, Gabriel Macht, Mike Realba, Dom Fiore, Karl Pruner, Ron Lea, Jeanie Calleja, Jessica Greco, Richard Fitzpatrick, Chris Owens
release US 31.Jan.03; UK 28.Mar.03
Sleeping with the enemy. Why let mutual mistrust get in the way of a little nookie? (Farrell and Moynahan)
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