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Overall Rating
1.78

Awesome: 1.35%
Worth A Look: 8.11%
Average: 6.76%
Pretty Bad: 35.14%
Total Crap48.65%

6 reviews, 38 user ratings


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Watcher, The
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by Jack Sommersby

"Reeves as a Serial Killer, Duuuuude!"
2 stars

Neither really here nor there -- just something to fill in the gaps in between actually worthwhile Hollywood products.

Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot to be said for The Watcher, a really lackluster serial-killer thriller that throws so many old, moth-infested hats into the ring that it never materializes into something even remotely fresh, reminding you instead of countless Better Movies Past productions. And it's quite the shame, because there's indeed some quality talent here wasted on a screenplay of stupefying obviousness. James Spader stars as an FBI agent voluntarily relocated to Chicago from Los Angeles after his failure to catch a notorious killer after a three-year stint resulted in the death of a woman close to him; conscience-striken, he's taken a leave of absence and wiles the days away in his sparsely-decorated apartment popping anti-depressants like they were candy mints when he's not undergoing therapy with psychiatrist Marisa Tomei. But he's pulled back into action when arch-nemesis Keanu Reeves resurfaces and taunts him with photographs of the attractive young women he's targeted; he gives a full day to find them before gruesomely doing away with them. Soon, both the Feds and city police are thrown into a frenzy running down leads off the photos distributed on the streets and aired on television. For the killer, the real enjoyment comes from toying with the Fed -- in his sick mind, the "game" between them is just as pleasurable as the killing itself. Of course, the hunted becoming the hunter is far from original, and the two main performances are inadequate: Spader too stodgily underplays; Reeves lacks the frightful villainous force he superbly summoned in The Gift. So with the leaky psychological dynamics in this who-cares conflict practically dripping off the celluloid, there's egregious emotional depth and stale plotting in that we're mostly ahead of the telegraphed surprises a good zip code away. Don't blame debuting-director Joe Charbanic, though. For someone from a music-video background, his visual eye is unsurprisingly good (also helping is the contribution of ace cinematographer Michael Chapman), yet it's never harried or overedited in the frenzied Michael Bay vein. The chase sequences boast lucid spatial logistics so you know where the hero is in relation to the villain, and there's a dandy nighttime gas-station explosion that's breathtakingly staged. Charbanic can't really do anything about the lack of nerve-jangling tension because of too many dead spots constantly stalling out the narrative drive. And the function of the Tomei character is really trite: you just know she's eventually going to be put in danger for lack of something even remotely resembling a tantalizing idea. The Watcher isn't painful to watch, mind you, but there's never really any time that it genuinely gets its grip on you the way any workable thriller should. For all its overall mediocrity, it'd have been better off feinting a few left hooks rather than relying on its cliche-ridden self to strike down-the-middle blows that end up having about as much oomph as a limp noodle.

Rent "Se7en" instead. Please.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4462&reviewer=327
originally posted: 06/29/09 09:09:05
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User Comments

5/10/14 Captain pooper-scooper. Typos pop! Pop!! Pop!!!! Yaby an nigga be happy, you black chappy!!! Pig sweater. 4 stars
7/30/13 PAUL SHORTT CLICHED, SHALLOW AND FORMULAIC 1 stars
12/28/09 Juan Perez Keanu Reeves as a serial killer? Yes!! Awesome 5 stars
12/03/09 Jeff Wilder Mediocre. But not vomit inducing. 3 stars
7/06/09 Samantha Brennan A movie basically for the viewing eyes of people who love ignorant serial killers. 2 stars
12/21/08 Shaun Wallner This movie stinks!! 1 stars
10/05/06 Charles Tatum Lackluster and kinda dumb, but good work from Spader 2 stars
8/18/05 ES car is covered completely in gasoline, only the top catches fire= sigh 1 stars
8/07/05 Charlene Javier What a bomb! 1 stars
1/19/04 LIAM JACKSON Griffin was a sick fuck who just killed and fucking killed for nothing. nice guy. 4 stars
1/10/04 kaz average movie with good cast = bad directing 3 stars
3/12/03 Blabity blah It tried so hard....and failed miserably. 1 stars
4/06/02 Caligula Caligula says: don't watch this garbage. 1 stars
10/02/01 Phoenix A total waste of time. 2 stars
7/11/01 seldom scene semi suspensful with no twists or hook 2 stars
6/07/01 Dean FBI agent with junk food in the refrigerator, haunted by killer. How unconventional... 2 stars
4/24/01 TigerDream it was....... sorta....... okay, i guess....... 3 stars
3/31/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Why, God?! WHY??!! 1 stars
3/27/01 Jesse L This is the first K.Reeves movie I did not like...IT STINKS 1 stars
3/25/01 Monster W. Kung One of the most pointless and trite movies to come out in the last decade. 1 stars
3/24/01 nowak Bad script. And Keanu is crap in any movie. 2 stars
3/23/01 TNT-6 Fucking sucks... dull, boring, and Keanu Reeves as a killer... laughable. 1 stars
3/11/01 Richard Wright First hour is riveting but the film suffers from a poor ending. A rewrite would've helped. 3 stars
3/04/01 Avenger Girl Pretty well done, a bit predictable though. Some attempt to make it visually exciting. 4 stars
1/09/01 Keanuette crap film, but KEANU did it as a favour and was ripped off! He's quite good in it though. 4 stars
10/28/00 Tdis72 Has to be the worst movie of the year. Reeves' worst performance ever. Sucked big time! 1 stars
10/08/00 Stuntman Like watching a badly done episode of that sissy Profiler cop show. Horrible. 1 stars
9/30/00 Zeitgeist typical hollywood sewage dished out to the masses 1 stars
9/23/00 Jacques Strap f**k Keanu and his mom... this movie blows 1 stars
9/17/00 JB Keanu is great in certain films, but not this one. Other actors were great. Especially COP. 1 stars
9/13/00 KAM suspenseful but pretty bad...poorly written and the movie looks like a music video 2 stars
9/12/00 Ground Zero Keany Reeves + bad movie = no-talent actor... Get a real job, hippie! 1 stars
9/11/00 **~**Persnickety**~** piece of shit says it all 1 stars
9/11/00 maclay01 This movie had a visceral feel that was washed out by the soundtrack - Entertaining 4 stars
9/10/00 Zeitgeist the kind of movie you forget all about 10 minutes after viewing it 2 stars
9/10/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble The movie guys in Hollywood must hate women something terrible, to make a movie like this! 1 stars
9/10/00 malcolm OK, nothing new 3 stars
9/06/00 Chris Clark Good flick - Keanu plays a good villain 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  08-Sep-2000 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  01-Mar-2001 (M)




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