Talking Lives

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Angelina Jolie provides an enjoyable performance as the
ice-cool FBI agent sent to Montreal to track down a psychopathic
killer who cuts off people’s hands and bashes their face in
with a rock. Angelina is unquestionably the best thing in this film
skilfully negotiating her character, Illeana Scott, through a
rather trite plot line, as she thaws out to show her more
passionate and vulnerable side. Unfortunately the performance of co-star Ethan Hawke is rather
underwhelming, unsurprisingly, providing little for Angelina to
engage with, and is thoroughly upstaged by a cameo from Keifer
Sutherland, of 24 and Lost Boys fame. Beyond the leads there is a limited cast drawn from the stock
catalogue of thriller caricatures. But they are quickly sketched
and don’t detract from the film. More detrimental are the occasions when the plot line becomes
unnecessarily diffuse in heavyhanded attempts to make the main
twist a little less obvious. Sadly the only effect is to make the film drag in parts and
feel a good half an hour longer than its 1 hour 42 minutes.
Despite this there are some excellent moments that make you jump
out of your skin, and plenty of slick dialogue. To top it all off, the conclusion provides a wonderful ending,
departing from the fairly standard thriller material that most of
the film consists of, and which makes one come to the firm
conclusion that Ms Jolie kicks ass. Fortunately not a trace of
her Lara Croft remains. So how come she still has to be in one of those irritating sex
scenes where the woman gets naked and the man remains resolutely
zipped up?ARCHIVE: 1st week TT 2004 

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