13 May 2002 | JayJay_Scotland
Not as Bad as the first 15 Minutes Lead you to Believe
While I found this suspense-thriller to be rather mediocre in many ways, I am glad to say this film did manage to keep my attention for its hour and a half or so duration.
'Tangled' was a film I had never heard of before, but rented it on the basis of a decent cast (especially Rachael Leigh Cook) and the fact there was nothing else interesting at the store which I had not seen already. It has a very low budget feel to it, as if this could really have been a made for TV movie. It's basically a fairly typical teen film; light plot, suspect acting in places, and just about entertaining enough. The film in the most part is told in flashbacks and concerns a three way relationship between friends Jenny (Cook), Alan (Rhys-Meyers) and David (Hatosy) as told by David. The film starts with Jenny and David as close friends boardering on lovers, but things take a very different and sinister turn when Alan comes on the scene. The film was very, very similar to the 1995 film 'Fear' starring Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon. In this movie Rhys-Meyers essentially plays Wahlberg's character, Cook plays Witherspoon's character, Estelle Warren plays Alyssa Milano's character and Hatosy plays a similar role to that of Witherspoon's father in Fear, though his character is more jealous than overprotective. This is a little better than 'Fear' though.
There were a number of things I liked about the film. The cinematography was nice, and also varied - both warm and vibrant early in the film and dark and cold when things take a downward turn. The way in which the events are told through flashbacks of different times and using varying amonts of colour, though not particularly original (Usual Suspects, Traffic), does at least make it intersting and a little different from the rest of its market. I also liked the fact that Rachael Leigh Cook for once plays a relitively sexy character, rather than her usual 'cute but slightly dorky' ones which have become her trademark (She's all That, All I Wanna Do, Antitrust, etc). There were a few scenes where the director tries to be a little deeper and metaphorical (e.g. kite scene, sitting on car scene, and the story about the brothers), but I felt these scenes suffered from lack of subtlety, especially the kite scene. Still, I liked the fact he tried them.
I do have a number of critisisms though. Firstly, the plot can be a little slow at times which may not be to everyones tastes. Secondly, while the acting in the most part was OK, there were a few times (e.g. Cook's 'shocked and surprised' face in the first 10 minutes) which left me and the guys I was watching it with chuckling. Also the 'twist' ending is very predictable, and we had the whole second half of the movie figured out within the first twenty minutes. Still, theres at least a sense of contentment when things come together on screen how you predicted them.
Overall this is a mixed bag and not bad for a 1st time directorial effort - a mediocre but interesting suspense thriller which is worth a watch if you see it on TV.