Hey gang. I have been busy with recording, editing and trying to give Rotten Reelz Reviews video reviews the love it deserves so yes I have been very laxed in my blog. I beg for your forgiveness and shall provide you with some much needed reading material. PLEEEEEASEEEE DON'T LEAVE MEEEEEE!!!!
Okay, with that slap at dignity, today's film is actually a thriller hailing from the far forgotten time of 2000. Yes 17 years and 4 months ago... Simpler times then. A sadistic game of cat and mouse for our hero and villain as both learn too much each other and leading to a final confrontation.
This is The Watcher.
Keanu a bad guy? NO WAY! Yes Keanu Reeves as a psychotic killer, David Allen Griffin who knows Kung Fu and exorcism, or maybe I am confusing a few movies. Any rate, our villain enjoys throttling the life from his victims. Typically sweet, innocent naive girls that are swept up in the moment of this handsome guy paying attention to them, caught unaware of the danger they are in until it is too late.
|Careful, I know Kung Fu.|
His nemesis, Joel Campbell (James Spader of Mannequin, Less than Zero, Jack's Back) is a guilt ridden, cluster migraine sufferer living on disability, regret and a fair amount of Vietnamese take out. Prior to that, he was an FBI serial profiler. Able to get in the heads of serial killers and catch them. Three years prior in L.A. He was hot on the trail of Griffin and a tragic death happened on his watch. He burned out and moved away from it all.
Living on a steady diet of bad food, pills,Coke and self-condemnation, Campbell left his job, handles his bills and stays out of police work...until he finds his old enemy followed him to Chicago to start "the game" again. Worthy of his attention, Griffin and Campbell have a relationship of give and take. Yeah this is how Griffin's sick ass mind operates. With a knowledge of police procedure, forensics and murder, Griffin is a predator stalking young women for days even weeks before his kill. His murder bag of tricks at the ready, his rituals to be adhered to and his victim completely terrified, he gets off on this every time.
FBI and Chicago PD are not thrilled with the idea of working with Campbell given what has happened in his past, but our Keanu has invited him to play and hopefully he can outwit, outguess or outclass him and take him down.
To take away from this film, well Keanu is actually quite creepy in it. Love the warm behavior to the potential victims. He comes on strong but not in an unappealing way. His grin and smile would easily put women off their guard and allow them to believe there are decent guys out there. He comes off charming and eccentric rather than a stalker plotting his next murder.
Spader as a brilliant burn out, showing all his former training and analytical thinking through waves of depression, pharmaceutical abuse and rattled nerves is compelling. One hand you want this poor wreck of a man to go home and just forget about this psycho. Then you realize, with Spader on the case; it stands a better chance of catching this nut.
Veteran character actors Chris Ellis and Ernie Hudson bring a lot to the table with their range of emotions and humor or darkness. The only one I felt wasted was Marisa Tomei. This capable, intelligent woman stuck in a shrink role on a couch gives decent drama but I swear they just didn't give her enough to do in this role. The hell, man? This is a talented woman and ya pissed her away.
Bottom line, I was a bit surprised the killer's reveal so soon in the film but given the story makes for an interesting history between Campbell and Griffin it works. The adrenaline for the chase, can he be stopped or will there be more bodies in the water?
This is a solid enough film, good pace so no drag factor but my other gripe is I wonder what even made Griffin who he is or was he simply born evil? Cue the Halloween Carpenter music!
The killer POV camera work was starting to hurt my eyes and head a bit though, so keep this in mind, photophobics. It isn't Uwe Boll territory but still hurt my eyes. Tomei wasted aside, I would have to say a fair 7 out of 10, decent story, excellent performances and awesome soundtrack.
|Mood lighting always makes a Spader look cuckoo.|