(Review originally written at 17 October 2007)

Roger Donaldson always distinct itself by making mediocre films. Just think of movies like "Cocktail", "Species", "Dante's Peak" and the remakes of "No Way Out" and "The Getaway". Now most of this movies showed some great potential but yet somehow Donaldson manages to not let this movie pass the mark of average. I really liked his movie "Thirteen Days" though, which was just great but this mostly was due to its compelling historic tense story. Even that movie shows great flaws in the directing. Even though he doesn't make that great movies he still makes well known wells, which also really is an accomplishment, I must admit.

I'm afraid that this movie is also a typical example of a Roger Donaldson movie. The concept of the movie sounds just great and shows more than enough potential to create a tense and original thriller with, with perhaps even noir elements in it. And also just look at the cast, how could you go wrong with this? The movie is still a decent one but it leaves lots of potential unused. The movie is not really ever tense or mysterious, mostly because of the reason that the story always stays way too vague and overcomplicated with twists that don't always seem to make credible sense. In the end you just simply stop caring about the story and its characters.

It's an amazing cast if you look at it. It features stars such as Willem Dafoe, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Mickey Rourke, M. Emmet Walsh, Miguel Sandoval, James Rebhorn and also actors who weren't big stars yet at the time such as Samuel L. Jackson and Maura Tierney. The actors all do their very best but at times they're obviously struggling with the confusing script and formulaic dialog.

See it or don't. It's not a bad movie but it ain't a recommendable one either.


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About Frank Veenstra

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