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(Review originally written at 27 July 2009)

Well, I have a weak for De Palma movie's, even though I'm the first to admit that he has also done some bad movies throughout. But I even like watching those movies, since all of his movies often have an unique way of storytelling and always bring a couple of memorable and well constructed sequences to the screen.

It's easy to tell from pretty early on in the movie that this movie is not really going to be a great. From the first moment on the story-telling is a bit too much all over the place and the movie throughout often looses its focus. It doesn't really manage to stay put to its main-plot and it for some reason feels the need to fill the movie with all kinds of uninteresting and above all unnecessary side tracks. Seriously, how is the whole triangular affair within this movie relevant for its plot? What even is supposed to be the main plot of the movie? It takes a while for the movie to make you understand which direction it's heading into with its story.

Like lots of De Palma movies, the movie also has some twists in it but with as a big difference this time that none of those moments really come as a surprise and those that come unexpectedly just seem too uninteresting to leave an impression.

It's easy to tell that De Palma with this movie tried to make a modern type of film-noir. His passion for the 'older' movies often shows in all of his movies and with this movie he really goes back to the old days of pure film-noir film-making. However the movie is not really atmospheric enough to call its look and atmosphere effective. This of course also has to do with the fact that this movie got shot in color, instead of the always far more effective, for these type of movies, black & white.

Nevertheless as the movie progressed it managed to create a style on its own and the movie becomes a more pleasant one to watch as well. I really wouldn't call this movie a bad one, since it has plenty of redeeming qualities in it, which makes this a good movie to watch and not just for the De Palma fans.

It was great to see a couple of real typical, well build-up, De Palma sequences in this. It's nothing too original from him but in my eyes it remained a great pleasure. Real De Palma fans will recognize these moments I'm talking about.

The movie has a rather good cast as well, with 'hot' actors such as Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Mia Kirshner, Fiona Shaw all present. It shows that Hollywood actors are still very much willing to work with a craftsman such as Brian De Palma, who has some great movies behind his name.

Not entirely successful as a movie but still simply a good one, thanks to De Palma's talents.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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