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It had been a while since I had either seen Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon or Tim Roth in anything noteworthy but to my own surprise, this was being a solid thriller, with truly some great performances by its cast.

It is absolutely true that without its cast this would had been a very formulaic, standard, average, little thriller. As a matter of fact, it more feels like an extended "Law & Order" episode. The characters and developments aren't anything surprising but the movie truly gets made interesting by its cast, who also help to make this a convincing and effective thriller.

I have never even been a too big fan of Richard Gere but he simply was absolutely great in this! He mostly carries this entire movie and he does this by playing a sort of despicable character. So it's a real accomplishment by him that he still managed to turn the main character into a still likable enough one, that you never lost interest in. He doesn't make the right choices throughout the movie but that's what keeps his character interesting and helps to let the movie move along, even during its slower moments.

It's the sort of thriller in which everything starts to go from bad to worse for its main character, when his lies and actions only get him in more and deeper problems and drags those close to him down, along with him.

But really, it remains a far from perfect thriller and still does plenty of things wrong. It does a poor job at handling some of its characters for instance. For example, it heavily under uses the Susan Sarandon character, who could had given the movie a whole other dimension and some more depth with her character. After all, she plays the main character's wife, who has certain knowledge about things that don't come into play until very late into the movie, when things are already starting to wrap up. The whole dynamic between her and the Gere character had much more potential really and I thought it was a real shame this didn't get explored any further and better. Also, I would had loved to have seen more of Susan Sarandon, since she gave away a great performance.

That's a bit of a problem with this entire movie; it just doesn't know how to handle and what to do with certain characters. The Tim Roth character also definitely feels a bit underused. When he shows up you think he is going to play a big and important role for this movie but in fact there are large portions of the movie in which his character plays no role at all. I absolutely loved his scene with Richard Gere and I was hoping for more moments like that, which unfortunately just never came.

I still really enjoyed this thriller and at times was even loving it. It's definitely a better than average genre attempt, despite still having a very standard and familiar type of premise and story in it. So in essence, nothing surprising but it's all still very well made and acted out by its impressive cast, which already is worth the price alone.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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