23 November 1998 | boris-26
Remake of Hitchcock classic has moments, but it's a pale shadow.
First, kudos to Christopher Reeve for pressing ahead with his acting career against incredible odds. The first part of the remake is to make us aware of the trauma of being once active, but now wheelchair bound, and very dependent. The film then glides into the heart of the story. For lack of things to do, Reeves spies on his nieghbors, and he soon thinks the emotional sculptor across the street has killed his wife. As in the original, our hero convinces his girlfriend, nurse, and friend (who happens to be a homicide detective) that murder is just next door. This version is not terribly focused. It's a tale of a crippled man, a plea against domestic violence, and a murder. While Raymond Burr was so compelling in the first film, with his worried teddy bear look, and powerful hands ready to kill James Stewart, this new killer is one dimensional. (He even wears a black t-shirt with a big skull on the chest, so we know he's bad news) His final confrontation with the helpless Reeve is a joke. His long, involved method of trying to kill Reeve makes one think of the long, involved killing methods villians used on Batman and Robin in the old TV series. One of the more frightening moments in the first RW was Grace Kelly snooping in the killer's apartment. The matching scene in the new RW (Now it's a likable Daryl Hannah) has it's moments concerning suspense. Even bound to a wheelchair, and limited to showing emotions, Reeves gives a fine performance. We start to care about his character. I just hope in the future, this always warm actor chooses better screenplays.