Saturday, April 14, 2007


RUNTIME: 109 min.

Part of the problem with these ridiculous thrillers is that they think they are smart. In fact the problem is that they think. I’m still looking for a reason how this awful movie about web abuse with incredibly stupid characters with a supremely dumb sense of investigation get to rope in A-list actors as Bruce Willis and Halle Berry. Throw in some more sex scenes and this movie would be fit enough to grace the porn movie market. And you have a director like James Foley (GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, CONFIDENCE) to helm it, who by the way has not fulfilled the initial promise he showed. God I’m going crazy. Are these people serious to play it all intense, as if they are making some sort of socially relevant movie? To hell with relevance, this is a pure exploitation movie that isn’t even good at exploiting. And yeah, there is something at the end that is supposed to be a twist ending. Twist endings be damned, this one is more of a cheat. It is like going through a Sherlock Holmes story with many suspects only to find at the end that it was Holmes itself who did it. PERFECT STRANGER is this year’s first contender for next year’s Razzies. But it isn’t going to win that one either because no one will even remember that such garbage was even served.
PERFECT STRANGER is on the perils of Internet abuse. Rowena Price (Halle Berry) is an investigative journalist and together with her partner Miles Hailey (Giovanni Ribisi) is the moral police catching big guys- senators, businessman and bringing them to justice. She learns that the murder of her childhood friend may be linked to a powerful businessman Harrison Hill (Bruce Willis) and the internet. And she goes to mete out justice, of course minus the cape. Only that she’s stupid enough not to know that the monitors too can be switched off, thanks to the manufacturers. And the switch for the power isn’t on the floor.
The screenplay is the prime villain. Todd Komarnicki has come up with one helluva stinker here. Everything is a mess and I just get who was sleeping with whom. I mean, everybody was sleeping with everybody. Then we have a lot of chatting with the computer monitor a very prime character, and hands down the best actor. We’ve these highly learnt individuals uttering each and every line of their chatting, since we’re illiterate. And then we have characters uttering expletives just like kids do when they just discover them. It is really, really pathetic.
The acting, one word, awful. Better word would be the “German” one used by Tom Hanks and his men in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN- fubar. Halle Berry is perfectly irritating. I guess she was trying to be Erin Brockovich, but the end results, if you want to put it diplomatically, couldn’t be far from the target. Bruce Willis, I guess, is waiting for DIE HARD 4.0 and this is just an outing to earn some fats bucks. I don’t know why he was carrying the stupid grin throughout the movie though. Maybe he too is confused, what am I doing in here. And Giovanni Ribisi, well, this isn’t the first time he has played a whacko, is it? But he was very likable as Phoebe’s brother; here he was crushing my nerves.
PERFECT STRANGER is the sort of movie where you’re confused about what is bad in the movie- is it the screenplay or the acting or the direction or the super-sloppy editing. Oh, there sure are more options for you, that I assure.
And the ending, well it sure is a surprise. It has to be because it is arbitrary. What if at the end of THE SIXTH SENSE, we come to know that Cole Sear is blind. Or say, Bruce Willis is hallucinating. In fact, my twist endings here seem better than the one here. The people behind this BASIC INSTINCT wannabe should be punished. And guess what the best way is. 3 back-to-back screenings of PERFECT STRANGER with these people tied up like Alex in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. Horrible movie.

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