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A Perfect Murder (1998)
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Review Date: November 02, 1998
Director: Andrew Davis
Writer: Patrick Kelly Smith
Producers: A. Kopelson, A. Kopelson, P. MacGregor-Scott, Christopher Mankiewicz
Actors:
Michael Douglas
Gwyneth Paltrow
Viggo Mortensen
Plot:
Caught in a loveless marriage, Paltrow hooks up in an affair with artist Mortensen. Paltrow's ultra-rich husband Douglas soon finds out about the tryst, and develops a foolproof plan to murder his wife. The plan does not quite go as planned, and all three characters are left dangling in a plot filled with double-crosses, blackmail and intrigue.
Critique:
Effective, well-paced murder mystery set within the elite of New York's high society, melds elements of intrigue and suspense, with some plot holes and plenty of guesses as to what's gonna happen next. This film kept me (and Mrs. JoBlo) guessing all the way through, and added to the overall enjoyment of this imperfect mystery. I'd heard predictability complaints from others that had already seen this picture, but let me tell you that most of the stuff that went down in this movie was quite the surprise to this guy! The performances, on the other hand, were not.

All three characters were your basic Hollywood movie cardboard cutouts, but still, the actors all managed to pull off some decent performances. Michael Douglas has all but certified his position as the ultimate rich-guy with rocks of steel, as this performance and his earlier tours-of-force in THE GAME (8/10) and Gordon Gekko (my hero!) in WALL STREET (9/10) have undoubtedly proven. Paltrow didn't really do much with this role, but then again, it wasn't written with much in mind. Her character seemed quite ignorant and aloof for most of the film. But Viggo Mortensen, well heck, now there's an actor with some bite!! If you have yet to hear much about this man, open your ears, and listen wide. This guy can act...and act well goddammit! I have loved almost all of his performances, with his role in THE INDIAN RUNNER (5/10) and last year's G.I. JANE (6/10) standing out in my mind, and certainly a force to reckon for all great future character roles. Watch for him...he's hot!

On the whole, this film never bored me, always kept me guessing, and offered some ripe performances from some decent actors, while never overplaying itself. It will definitely not go down in the history of film as one of the greatest mysteries to ever be shown on the big screen, but then again, it ain't a stinker either. Curl up with your loved one, shut the lights, inhale those nachos, and try to figure out who's going to be doing what to whom next. You'll have a fun time, despite the film's lack of major breakthroughs.
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
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