WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A burnt out cop (James Spader) on the verge of a nervous breakdown must track down a vicious killer (Keanu Reeves) who preys on lonely, single women. Toying with the authorities, the murderer sends a photograph of his next victim to the detective only 24 hours before the actual crime. The cop must now use the picture to catch the psycho before he strikes again.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Despite a very interesting premise, this movie ultimately suffers from sloppy directing and bad writing. The director seemed to seriously enjoy indulging in completely unnecessary slow motion shots and used way too many filters. I have no problems with using such techniques to achieve a certain sense of "style" but the whole film came across as a botched camera experiment. The characters also themselves left a lot to be desired in terms of depth and personality. Spaderís detective is almost cartoonish in nature, popping dozens of pills and suffering from the worst case of narcolepsy Iíve ever seen. Okay, we know heís burnt outÖno need to completely overdo things.
Reeves on the other hand, delivers a completely different performance. In all fairness, heís probably the most bland, boring and uncharismatic serial killer Iíve ever had the pleasure of watching on film. I mean, we get no zest or panache, just a stoic, monotone personality which only bogged down the pace of the film. It was nice to see Marisa Tomei in a small bit part and probably the first time I can remember seeing her in a movie for quite some time. The movie was slow at times and only sprinkled with periodic scenes of action and drama. Iíve got nothing against a slow moving suspense vehicle but at least do something to keep us interested! With rather uninspiring showings from its two leads and very shoddy direction, skip this one altogether.
Iíve begun to notice a disappointing trend within the DVD world as of late. If a movie tends to bomb at the box office, the studios usually invest little time or effort into adding extras to the movieís eventual DVD release. The Watcher seems to follow this recent trend by offering only a few short production notes and one measly trailer. The menus arenít animated but do feature excerpts from the movieís score.
Save your hard earned dollars and look somewhere else for a few good thrills. Thereís nothing in this whole package which really merits a recommendation, especially the film which in all fairness, pretty much sucked. If a good serial killer flick is what you seek, plunk down your change and check out the recently released reissue of SE7EN and see how itís really supposed to be done.