Copycat (1995) Directed by Jon Amiel




(Review originally written at 30 December 2006)

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Copycat" is a surprising good serial-killer thriller, that perhaps is not the most original movie around but its definitely one of the better executed ones.

The movie is well written, with a solid story, main characters and a couple of nice twists. At the beginning you don't really know what the movie is going about and everything is build up in a good, non-forced or overdone way. In the beginning its still a mystery who's behind the killings and it even is subtly implied that the killers could be one of the cops, or one of the other characters in the movie. The movie however takes a twist when it fully shows the killer, his preparations and his actions. The movie is at times told completely from the killers point of view. This works surprisingly effective and it doesn't ruin the tension or mystery of the movie, in any way.

What makes the movie effective and also in a way distinctive is that the main characters of the movie are two female characters. They are being portrayed by about the two strongest female leading Hollywood ladies of the moment; Sigourney Weaver and Holly Hunter. They are two strong and independently, different from each other characters that know to carry the movie. The movie also has an excellent supporting cast with Harry Connick Jr. in a disturbing role, Will Patton and the fairly unknown William McNamara as the killer of the movie. The fact that he isn't as well known as an actor perhaps makes his character work out all the better.

I have yet to see a Jon Amiel movie that is original on its own. His movies always heavily 'borrow' from other movies in the same genre. He's a real 'copycat' himself you may say. "Copycat" is really no exception to this but it this case it didn't bothered me since the execution of it all was superb and effective.

The movie is basically good and tense from start till finish, due to a good pace, interesting well written and developed characters and a good overall build up. The movie perhaps at the end turns into a bit of a formulaic and simple one but it doesn't really downgrade the movie in any way. It all makes this movie one of the better genre movies of the last couple of years. The movie has basically everything in it that is needed to make a good thriller.

The movie is good looking with an overall nice visual style, some nice cinematography, nimble editing and a suiting musical score from composer Christopher Young.

A simply great genre movie, that deserves some more recognition and that holds up surprising well against other classic genre examples such as "Silence of the Lambs" and "Se7en".

8/10

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