"See it before someone spoils it for you. And because it's great."
What is it? A slasher flick? A roadside pulp drama? A mystery/whodunit/thriller? Maybe an ensemble piece, maybe a character study. Bah, who cares. It's one of the best movies I've seen in months. And I see 'em all.First off, it would take an awful director on his worst day to negate the onscreen coolness of a John Cusack / Ray Liotta pairing. Here we have two of America's best actors sparring and jabbering back and forth in a tense and creepy setting. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Identity takes place almost exclusively in one rundown roadside hotel, the sort you drive by on every lonely highway in the U.S. The roads are flooded in both directions (thanks to a cinematically wonderful and omnipresent downpour) and the hotel finds itself swollen with new guests. Chief among them are limo driver Ed (Cusack), retiring prostitute Paris (Amanda Peet), shady policeman Rhodes (Liotta) and his rabid prisoner (Jake Busey)...
See here's where things get really dicey for someone describing a film like Identity; the more I say the more I potentially spoil things.
And I wouldn't do that for a movie I disliked, let alone for something as unpredictably slick as Identity. Suffice to say that we're given about a dozen characters and very few of them are what they initially seem to be.
So I can't really describe the characters. But they start getting murdered almost immediately so it's up to you to keep score. Equal parts Friday the 13th, Ten Little Indians and (dare I say) Hitchockian thriller, Identity is quite simply a whole lot of fun.
If you're a fan of the Claustrophobic Ensemble Piece, then Identity will soon be a big favorite. In addition to the fantastic work by Cusack and Liotta, Amanda Peet manages to offer perhaps her best work to date, while the always-reliable John C. McGinley treats us to an uncharacteristically mellow performance. Rebecca DeMornay is a real surprise here, offering an enjoyably obnoxious and cleverly self-deprecating performance, while the background is littered with pros like Al Molina, Clea DuVall, Pruitt Taylor Vince and the colorfully manic Jake Busey.
All in all, a cast tailor-made for movie freaks. How something this enjoyably convoluted sprung from the pen that birthed both of those ridiculous Jack Frost flicks is beyond me, but a hearty pat on the back to screenwriter Michael Cooney for making it to the big leagues.
Best described as a modern-day feature-length Twilight Zone episode, Identity should prove a real thrill to horror fans, mystery aficionados, or just anyone who enjoys watching a bunch of great actors sharing the same screen.You may predict some of the twists; heck, you may even predict all of 'em. (I didn't.) But even if that's the case, Identity is so much fun to watch that you simply won't care.