Thursday, September 04, 2008

DECEPTION: It Sucks, Big Time

DECEPTION (crime thriller)
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Hugh Jackman, Michele Williams, Maggie Q and Charlotte Rampling

Director: Marcel Langenegger

Time: 102 mins

Rating: *
1/2 (out of 4

WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL? 'Deception' may well bring about three different responses during its three 'acts'. During the 'stylishly' developed first act, you will be wondering (as you are supposed to) what sort of catch (or denouement) the plot is taking us into. In the second act, you are very likely to feel infuriated at the way the film-makers are taking us for idiots with such a stupid plot, and by the third act, you would want to march to the box-office to ask for your money back!

Yes, like its title, the poster deceives us into thinking it is a stylish mystery thriller with a top-notch cast. In reality, it is a no-brainer that wastes the talents of its cast!

Jonathan McQuarry (Ewan McGregor) is a shy accountant who works long hours and lives alone in a New York apartment. One night, while working on an audit, he is befriended by the suave Wyatt Bose (Hugh Jackman) who later introduces Jonathan to an exclusive sex club where a list of phone numbers is circulated and men and women call each other when they're in the mood for some fun.

As one of the members termed it, it is 'intimacy without intricacy'. Soon, while Wyatt is overseas on business, Jonathan is getting laid almost every night.
However, things come to a head when he meets a woman (Michelle Williams) and breaks some the the club's rules, like, he mustn't fall in love with any of the members.

HITS & MISSES: The main problem with this movie is that it is so badly written (by Mark Bomback) that it insults the intelligence of the viewers. Of course, like all crime thrillers, there is the mandatory twist at the ending but it looks half-baked and condescending. First time director Marcel Langenegger seems to have no idea about what to do with the 'mood' of the movie. Even with its story about a posh sex club, there is not much 'steam' to talk about and there is nothing to blame our censors for this time around, even if a number of scenes were snipped.

By 'steam' here, I mean a sense of 'sexual tension' and not just nudity or obscenity. Maggie Q, whose role is highlighted in the posters to attract Asian audiences, has only a cameo role while Natasha Henstridge also provides a bit of skin here. However, these are not what I would go out to get the DVD for...

THE LOWDOWN: Leave it. It sucks Big Time.


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