28 October 2011 | bsevingen
Think about the casting while you watch
We don't get to watch many thrillers lately so I was hopeful about this movie. It was actually satisfactory enough, the changing faces of the supporting cast was fun and sufficient to emphasize with Milla's character. If this was a bigger budget movie, it would be delightful to have some of these faces by more recognizable character actors depending on the situation and her disposition towards them. As it was, the film was more like a procession of many extras (note the collaboration of 4-5 studios). For some weird reason I expected and hoped she would at some point see Philip Seymour Hoffman as her husband, Luiz Guzman as the cop, Eric Roberts as Lanyon, but of course that didn't happen :) I agree with others that the love affair looked superficial and lacking chemistry, but just think (after watching the film) how it would be elevated by a clever and ambitious casting of supporting actors.
On the downside, the suspense level was not really high and the film never came close to being chilling. It could have been a much more captivating thriller. Sometimes the story of the killer was almost a sub-plot and it was her prognosis that was at the forefront, I guess Milla preferred it that way for having more opportunity to display her serious acting skills. My alternative would be to have more scenes with Lanyon and also more innovative stalking by the Lurker. That way the audience would engage better in making guesses about the killer's identity and could actually still be amazed by a clever twist at the end.
Here is a diversion about the leading actor (well, the movie became rather dull enough times to give me an opportunity to amuse myself by reflecting on her career). I think Milla is cleverly changing gear, she is very positively stuck in my mind with the Fifth Element (that was when Bruce Willis was a dashing action star) and I noted her acting in the Million Dollar Hotel as well as her portrayal of Jean Darc. When you come to think of it, she has a remarkably diverse and rich filmography with leading roles in major films while she was very young. Overall however, her last ten years went largely unnoticed by people who are not into resident evil, so now she has the chance to make a re-entry as a fresh face who happens to have a lot of acting experience. In the next few years she could aptly make her mark as the lead actress of noirs and thrillers (a role played by Kim Basinger and Michelle Pheiffer in the last decade).
To sum up, an entertaining and somewhat original movie which unfortunately is not intellectually challenging. Watch it, but with realistic expectations.