Deception

Did you ever have someone ask your opinion on something, a book or maybe just an odd piece of news, and absolutely the best thing you could come up with was "okay" or "fine"? Because whatever it was made so little impression on you that you couldn't even form an opinion. That's kind of where I am here.

It sounded pretty cool to start with. I like Ewan McGregor, and while I'm not a huge Wolverine fan, I certainly have nothing against Hugh Jackman. Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain, and no, I still haven't seen it) was a mystery to me going in, but that's okay. And I like thriller movies, when they're well done and nice and convoluted, without getting too unbelievable. So it all looked good in the previews. I'm not quite sure what happened. I wasn't bored during the movie, wondering constantly when it would end, so that's a good thing. But very little of it actually stuck in my brain. As soon as I left the theatre, it almost felt like I hadn't seen a movie at all.

But I do remember something of it, when I work at it and have imdb to jog my memory, so let me see what I can do for a summary. Ewan is Jonathan McQuarry, mild-mannered accountant, who does outside audits of big companies, so no one likes him, even though he's Ewan McGregor and is therefore adorable. Hugh is Wyatt Bose, who is extremely tall and makes Ewan look very short and Michelle like a tiny little doll. Oh, and he's also rich and popular and a ladies' man, who takes Jonathan under his wing. Strangely, this doesn't make Jonathan suspicious, even though the first thing Wyatt does is share a joint with him, which is supposed to make you paranoid.

Somewhere along the way, they accidentally (maybe) switch cell phones. See how much bother those things can be? Anyway, Jonathan suddenly discovers that Wyatt is part of a weird sex club, where nameless strangers meet in random hotels. The lonely, repressed Jonathan dives into the club with a vengeance, which is not too surprising.

But just when you think this is going to be a borderline X-rated film (or NC-17, or whatever they call them these days) about sex and how weird interpersonal relationships can be, it turns a corner and then it just... isn't. It morphs into a crime thriller. It isn't a jarring transition, by any means, but after a few minutes of the new film with the old characters, I started wondering what the heck had happened. They sort of tie back into the club later, so it isn't totally forgotten, but it was still odd. It was kind of like a committee had written the script, which I guess does happen sometimes.

So now I suppose you're expecting a rating. Um. Let's go with two and a quarter. One for Ewan, one for Hugh, and a quarter just because I'm feeling generous. If it's free and the only thing on, go ahead and watch it, but just remember, it's kind of like Chinese food, and I'm not saying that just because part of the film is set in Chinatown (New York's, I think, but I can't be sure anymore). I'm saying that because in an hour, you'll want to watch another movie.

Originally posted 5/2008. I still have a hard time remembering the title of this flick... or anything else about it, come to that.

Image: 
The two main characters sit together. The thrills never stop!

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