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Eye of the Beholder (2000)
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Review Date: January 28, 2000
Director: Stephan Elliot
Writer: Stephan Elliot
Producers: Nicolas Clermont, Tony Smith
Actors:
Ashley Judd
Ewan McGregor
Patrick Bergin
Plot:
A sultry woman with a dark past is tailed by a British Intelligence agent who can't get over the loss of his daughter, and suddenly finds himself obsessed with his investigative subject. And while the path of her murders begins to cover several cities, the man's obsession with the mysterious lady starts to take over his entire life.
Critique:
Ashley Judd is one purty lady with some significant talent as an actress and sexy seductress, but this movie bites as a whole. Few thrills, even less action, a loud soundtrack and over-the-top symbolism don't make up for the fact that the script has very little substance or anything interesting and new to say. Thankfully, I am a fan of style and this film has got plenty to spare. It's also got a pretentious air which prevents it from becoming anything more than a second-rate surreal "thriller" with some solid performances from the leads, decent locale shots and a bogus ending. Did I believe or buy into any of the simplistic motivations that the characters expressed as their raison-d'etre in this film? Absolutely not! And having Ewan's lost daughter float in and out of scenes as a reminder of why he is the way he is, wasn't exactly subtle or entertaining. Now does Ashley Judd "work" as a jet-setting femme fatale with a propensity for the ol' knife-in-the-back scenario? Absolutely, in fact, she's one of the strongest points in this muddled movie, which expects you to tag along with some guy who becomes obsessed with a serial killer, and then care about what happens to either one of them!

Problem with films like this is that despite their many bad points, including plot holes which just seemed to make matters worse, they do sometimes contain serviceable qualities. Which is why I never tend to favor the inclusion of many 0/10's in my reviews. Much like my general philosophy on life, I like to judge all films according to the merits of its final product, but not without acknowledging the separate parts that go into creating that entire compilation. In other words, I try to see something good in everything, and despite not enjoying this movie as a whole, I liked some of the camera-work, truly enjoyed Jason Priestley's spirited cameo, was never really bored and definitely toss kudos the way of Judd and McGregor. Does the ending suck? Yes. Does the movie try too hard to be cool, dark, sexy and deep without having much to say? You bet. All in all, I would say that this cinematic mess is a nice try, but no cigar. See it for Judd, her sexy character, McGregor playing the shy guy, the shot of Judd's boobies, or K.D. Lang trying to act. But don't see it if you're looking for a deep character study or thrills, cause the only reason you'd find yourself at the edge of your seat in this flick, would be to beat a hasty retreat to the exits.
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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