A serial killer has been operating in eastern Canada for some 20 years, killing young men anddestroying their identities, then living their lives for a while. Montreal police unaccountably sendfor FBI profiler Angelina Jolie (what, the RCMP doesn’t have any such specialists?).Preternaturally smart and perceptive, as all movie profilers are, Jolie feels her judgment cloud asshe begins to fall for Ethan Hawke, a witness to one of the murders, and a potential targethimself.
The prologue, where Paul Dano takes his shy geek persona (also on display in The GirlNext Door) in a chilling direction, is intriguing. But then the credits appear, shamelesslyripping off Se7en, and everything is downhill from there. For once, Montreal gets to beitself, so naturally half the time it is played by Quebec City. All the Montreal cops are played byimports from France (Olivier Martinez, Tcheky Karyo, Jean-Hugues Anglade), as if there wereno good actors in Quebec. As for the mystery, it isn’t much of one, and the plot, lacking realsuspense, plays out in very meandering and predictable fashion. Though not incompetent, thefilm suffers from a pervading, crippling sense of déjà-vu.
The music is given excellent surround treatment, and there are numerous fine uses ofsurround effects (wind at night at a crime scene, pounding music and crowd noises in anightclub). The dialogue is always clear, never distorts, and is never drowned out by the ambientnoise.
The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen image is very sharp, and has no grain or edgeenhancement. The colours are very good, and the palette is most interesting, including slightlyharsh contrasts in the prologue. Blacks and flesh tones are excellent too. The transfer looks great,then, even if the actual look of most of the film is strongly derivative of Se7en.
The “Taking Lives Crime Lab” is a documentary split into four featurettes. The combinedrunning time is only 21 minutes, so that should tell you just how in-depth this largelypromotional exercise gets. Otherwise, all you have is a gag reel and the theatrical trailer, so thefeatures are pretty unimpressive. The menu’s main screen and intro are animated and scored.
Been there, done that, over and over and over again, even if the location is a bit different thistime.
Special Features List
- “Taking Lives Crime Lab” 4-Part Documentary
- Gag Reel
- Theatrical Trailer