by Ryan Arthur
Riveting cinema...is somewhere else.Let me preface by saying that at the time that I wasted $4.50 on this little nugget, I had never seen an episode of The X-Files (I have since then). So I couldn't really judge Duchovny's acting in that series and compare it to this stinkburger...I mean, movie. I can only hope that his previous roles in Beethoven and Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead (two other Oscar-caliber films, to be sure) are a better indicator of his acting abilities. Because this movie, from start to not-too-soon finish, sucks sour frog ass, and Agent Mulder is a big part of the problem.
"Did I mention this movie sucks sour frog ass?"
Imagine a role in a movie - any movie - as it would've been played by Ben Stein, the droll teacher from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. That's a good example of Duchovny's range here. Angry, happy, high, sarcastic, who can tell? A doctor who's NOT narcissistic, a doctor who DOESN'T have a God complex? I can suspend belief, but not that much. The rest of the cast isn't much help, either. Tim Hutton has what could've been a plum role as the bad guy. But he doesn't even get into remotely bad...he's more of a Disney-fied villain; all style and no substance. It doesn't help if you keep flashing back to him in Ordinary People. The lone bright spot (for me, anyway) was Angelina Jolie. If it was just an hour and a half of a close up of her lips, I'd see this movie more often than 14-year-old girls saw Titanic.
The plot is basically a "redemption through betrayal" kind of deal, but the story itself is a mess, starting off with a MacGyver-esque opening as Doc Duchovny improvises in a bar to save a wounded man's life. After that, it veers off into Pulp Fiction territory, complete with two hitmen, one black, one white, whose conversation in a car deals with riveting dialogue about soccer as compared to American football. It was at this point that I leaned over to a friend and said, "If they start talking about cheeseburgers in Amsterdam, I swear to God I'm walking out."
After that, it turns into a would-be action movie, complete with the plot device of the 90's, Russian gangsters. There were at least five movies in 1997 that had the Russian mafia playing a role, and they all sucked, kids. Are scritpwriters really that hard up for ideas?
Top it all off with cheesy dialogue, monotonous voiceover from Duchovny, and a pointless car chase, and you wonder why this movie didn't premiere some Friday night on HBO first.Do yourself and others a favor. Go to your local video store and burn all the copies of this movie. You'll thank me later.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=477&reviewer=7
originally posted: 08/27/98 00:52:25