Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

The Watcher

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Profanity:Some strong language
Nudity/Sex:A few sexual references
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking and smoking, character takes many prescription drugs
Violence/Scariness:Extreme -- plot centers on a serial killer, many deaths
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:2000
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Profanity: Some strong language
Nudity/Sex: A few sexual references
Alcohol/Drugs: Drinking and smoking, character takes many prescription drugs
Violence/Scariness: Extreme -- plot centers on a serial killer, many deaths
Diversity Issues: None
Movie Release Date: 2000

A couple of clever turns don’t rescue this movie from its tired plot, laughable dialogue, and disastrous casting. James Spader plays Campbell, a burned-out FBI agent from Los Angeles who was unable to catch a serial killer and now lives on disability in Chicago, taking massive doses of pharmaceuticals and talking to a therapist (Marisa Tomei). Griffin, the serial killer (Keanu Reeves) follows Campbell to Chicago and starts sending him photos of his next victims, daring him to find them before it is too late. It seems that the killer is less interested in killing than he is in having someone pay attention to him.

In other words, this is the kind of serial killer who only exists in movies, more a plot device than a character. Any characteristic he has or is described as having is jettisoned without explanation when necessary for the purposes of the plot. Reeves can be effective in many kinds of roles, and can convey a spookiness that plays as shyness in one part or nihilism in another. But he fails to convey any sense of menace or evil. The movie would have been much more effective if Reeves and Spader had switched parts, with Reeves the damaged cop and Spader the obsessive killer. Tomei is onscreen long enough to show us how much more she can do. It is obvious from the beginning that her character is there to give Campbell — and the audience — a potential victim to care about. But she manages to convey such warmth, compassion, and charm, that despite ourselves, we do care about her.

The movie tries to show us that the cop and the killer have a lot in common. Both watch their prey, keeping track of every detail. Both seek an appreciative audience. Each fascinates the other. But the last half hour becomes ludicrous as Campbell engages in Stupid Movie Behavior #1 (things people do in movies that make absolutely no sense whatsoever but if the characters did what any intelligent person would do there would be no plot): after working closely with the local police every step of the way, Campbell goes to meet with Griffin alone, without telling anyone where he is. Then, when they do get together, the dialogue becomes so idiotic (Griffin tells Campbell that he gives Campbell’s life meaning, and Campbell responds, “Do you know how many serial killers there are in Chicago? Eight!”) that the movie loses any tension that it had.

Parents should know that this is a very violent movie about a serial killer who preys on vulnerable young women. It has some gorey deaths and crime scenes. There is some strong language. Campbell abuses pharmaceutical drugs and another is skeptical about his ability to perform under their influence. It has sexual references, including references to adultery, strong language, smoking, and drinking.

Families who see this movie should talk about Griffin’s feeling that it is important to be noticed, and his view that he and Campbell need each other.

People who like this movie will also enjoy the vastly superior “No Way to Treat a Lady,” also about a serial killer who develops a relationship with the cop who is working on the case.

Previous Posts

Contest: Win a DVD of "Hope Bridge"
"Hope Bridge" is a new DVD from Pure Flix about the devastating impact of suicide. Christi and David Eaton produced the movie after having experienced suicide twice in their family. They knew the best way to reach out to others was through a ...

posted 8:00:59am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: No Ordinary Hero -- The SuperDeafy Movie
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6Yo3kRFW9g Coming next month on DVD, "No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie" is the story of a deaf actor (John Maucere) who plays a deaf superhero in a campy television series. But he wants to be a real ...

posted 8:00:41am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Exclusive Clip: Underdog Kids
[jwvideo vid='AKNUHyky' pid='GvkPWNBE'] Underdog Kids is family film about a karate team of misfits, available on VOD and DVD July 7, 2015. Adam Irigoyen (Disney’s “Shake It Up!” and “Wizards of Waverly Place”), Ryan Potter (Big ...

posted 8:00:26am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Lorne Balfe, Composer for "Terminator Genisys"
Lorne Balfe composed the score for "Terminator Genisys," the fifth in the series, which takes place in three different time period, some very ...

posted 3:32:31pm Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Exclusive Clip: The Dovekeepers
[jwvideo vid='TMTJEKgu' pid='GvkPWNBE'] NCIS star Cote de Pablo gives a behind the scenes look at the making of the Roma Downey/Mark Burnett produced miniseries, The Dovekeepers. Adapted from Alice Hoffman's novel, "The Dovekeepers" follows ...

posted 11:15:01am Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.