12 March 2008 | iambrdy
So Surprised How good this was....
So, P2... it looks like it would be a crap movie. But it's actually pretty good. I KNOW!!! Coming from an art background and as an avid fan of suspense and horror films I found this film was pretty smart and responsible. Rachel Nichols performance was really good, and the scenario plays out believably while avoiding a plethora of gender stereotypes, as well as confrontational stereotypes.
The characters are interesting and dynamic is great. From their first interactions, and the interplay between them it's clear how involved the process was in trying to capture those moments.
As far as the story goes, it's a pretty standard fair for a suspense thriller type of film. What makes this one work is the consideration given to selling the moments truthfully and keeping scenes honest. Right down to the end of the film. Wes Bently is a really gifted actor, his performance was candid, truthful and filled with a lot of well expressed anxiety and isolation. But never really expressed vocally, but it's always present in his character. Rachel Nichols is straight aces with her exploration of her characters pensive and diplomatic displacement in the situation she finds herself in. These two carry the film. The only problem I had was that one character was never really at the center, and I really wanted to know more than what I was being provided. I think some more time with either Bently's or Nichol's characters could have made a world a difference in really attaching us to them. I would say more so for Bently's security guard... he has an implied back-story, but I wanted to see more... how he functions outside of his job a little.
Something that really divides Seven from all it's other rip-offs and variations is the focus on the subtle specifics of Mills and Somerset's world, how definite and impractical their ethics are in the environments they inhabit. And then, how liberal and apathetic they are when faced with John Doe's absolute nature. This dynamic is that missing ingredient from P2. You're not really given an identifiable attachment to either of the core characters.
But overall, a movie I greatly under-estimated... This film does deserve a good look, but don't expect it to be something like "The Eye" or "Skeleton Key". It's a much richer and culturally considerate tapestry than films of that ilk, but isn't rich enough to be a classic like "Seven". It's a good film that I am sure didn't fully get it's dues.