17 November 2004 | rsoonsa
STRONG EFFORT BY SHANNA REED CAN NOT COMPENSATE FOR A STALE SCRIPT.
A conventional genre for filmmakers may be titled Theatre of Paranoia, within which are copious examples, this piece being one, wherein a protagonist is stalked or harried or wrongly envisioned or trapped or prejudiced against, i.e., in some way made to suffer by, generally, one person distracted by jealousy or some other mania. The victim here is Jane Bonner, splendidly played by Shanna Reed, who is tormented by her former husband Robert (Terry O'Quinn), a police detective with an extraordinary amount of free time who is maddened due to the disbanding of a joint custody agreement for the ex-couple's eight-year-old son, during divorce proceedings, Bonner's harassment becoming so acute that Jane and her new spouse Patrick (Pierce Brosnan) decide to leave their Saint Louis home and drive to California to start life anew, only to have Bonner trail them. Director Robert Lewis paces the film solidly during its initial scenes only to have his efforts hamstrung by excessive cutting along with a disjointed screenplay that is heavily reliant upon fancy, in addition to below standard post-production work (e.g., a car following Jane and Patrick is seen being driven from both sides of the front seat by its sole occupant), and a garish lack of knowledge concerning law enforcement procedures is only too evident.
Throughout this foolish affair that the film becomes, Reed shines, easily gathering in acting honours with a subtly layered and credible performance, and O'Quinn also acts well, especially in light of his written dialogue. Richard Leiterman's cinematography is expert as always and fitting underscoring is contributed by Joseph Conlan, but the scenario's collapse into nearly total incongruity and odd character metamorphosis becomes too great of a handicap.