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(Review originally written at 7 May 2006)

When I first saw the trailer for this movie I just knew that I had to see it. It looked tense but above all, mysterious, original and also certainly unusual. Plus it had Christian Bale in it. I'm glad that I have finally watched this movie and it certainly lived up to my expectations.

Although the story itself might not be that unique or original, for it certainly uses several elements from other movies, the story is still good and mysterious on its own. Most of the things in the movie happen as a surprise and the movie leaves you guessing till the end. Therefor the scripts still remains powerful and original on its own.

It's the script that mostly is the reason why this movie is an unique viewing experience. It has more than enough surprises in it and you never fully understand what is happening to the main character. You know that it can't be some sort of large scale conspiracy plot against the main character, as the main character himself thinks. It's too complex and too many unusual things are going on for that. But what exactly is going on and why, remains largely a surprise till the end.

The movie is beautifully crafted by director Brad Anderson, who also provides the movie with a nice visual style. The story is nicely told in a mysterious and mostly unusual way but never without getting too complex to follow. The movie has very few characters in it and it mostly only focuses on just the main character, so we never loose track and are fully captivated with the story and feel for the main character.

The main character of the movie is being played by Christian Bale, who lost a shocking amount of weight for his role. If he was any thinner, he would seize to exist. It's a real achievement, especially considering he had to get in shape again fast after this movie, for his role in "Batman Begins". But above all Christian Bale is just a wonderful actor. One of the discoveries of this decade and a name for the future. Of course he already received lots of fame after his role in the Spielberg movie "Empire of the Sun" from 1987 but it wasn't until the early '00's that he appeared in some good movies again and showed his remarkable talent and skill. He also certainly doesn't disappoint in this movie and he is good enough to basically carry the entire movie on its own. It also was great to see the actors Jennifer Jason Leigh and especially Michael Ironside in this movie. John Sharian also plays a magnificent and significant role in this movie. He's a really powerful actor with a great charismatic face.

An highly recommendable movie that has plenty of surprises and will mostly leave you guessing till the end. Not the most original but certainly one of the most unique movies of this decade.

9/10

Watch trailer

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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