Taking Lives

I mentioned this movie only briefly when I reviewed Twisted, but when I decided to catch a movie on a Saturday night, I decided to opt for the movie that’s been out for three weeks, rather than Kill Bill Vol. 2. Not that I don’t want to see Vol. 2, I just didn’t feel like battling the crowds of S.N.I.’s (Saturday Night Idiots). The movie was better than Twisted because you couldn’t really tell who was who until really late in the movie. It has … <mutters to self> two significant moments of terror which made me jerk in my seat (I really don’t like scary movies) and enough twists to make any flashback vitally significant. The basic outline of the movie is that Illeana (Angelina Jolie) is a peculiar type of FBI profiler (“She’s not a cop. She doesn’t need evidence, doesn’t need facts. All she needs is a murder site and a body, and that’s all we have.”) who is called to Canada by her old friend Leclair (the only cool French guy in the world, Tcheky Karyo) to help catch a Canadian serial killer. The killer has escaped notice for so long because he has been living the life of everybody he kills as a way of escaping his mother’s hatred for him (she loved his twin, who was tragically killed while rescuing the other brother. Or was he?). So Illeana goes about investigating the crime scenes in her “special” way, noticing everything about people, including how they react. They hit a bit of luck when a witness (Ethan Hawke) is able to draw the suspect (Kiefer Sutherland), which leads to an apartment building, which leads to a clandestine meeting in a noisy club, which leads to Pennsylvania. “Pennsylvania? How did Pennsylvania get into it?” I hear you cry. Well Pennsylvania, you see is 8 squared. “Well you ask a silly question, you get a silly answer” (Tom Lehr). But back to the movie, be sure to remember that nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, is what it seems. In terms of other rating points, you can’t really judge a psychological thriller by it’s cinematography or special effects, just by the script, directing, and the music. The music really made me sit on the edge of my seat and was a beautifully orchestrated counterpoint to the movie (letting me know when something was about to happen, but not exactly when so that I can be prepared (of course, then it wouldn’t be very scary, would it) which is just the way I like it).

Actually, there are two moments of special effects and cinematography that I have to mention. One is where Jolie runs town a cirucular staircase and the camera twists down from above to follow, which just looked really cool (like being in a funhouse moving tunnel). The other is that trick the camera does where the foreground and background are focused at different levels, and it was at a really good moment, so I was like, “WAHOO!”

The movie is actually based on a book that I am very interested in reading, now that I’ve seen the film (that’s the only good way to do things, cause otherwise you get really disappointed and in some cases very bitter (Darn you Stephen King!)). The director, D.J. Caruso, did a really good job, although I haven’t seen Salton Sea and I don’t watch any TV, so I really can’t compare his works. He does know the human mind and he works magic with Jon Bokenkamp’s adaptation.

As anybody may recall, I kind of made an unnecessary rant against Canadia in my last review… and I said that unless the movie took place in Canada, it shouldn’t be filmed there. I would just like to take this moment to not apologize to Canadia and say thank you for letting us use your cities. Now get out there and see the film. OOPS! Too late, it’s already disappeared from theatres.

“I got the military blues…”

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