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Overall Rating

Awesome: 8.2%
Worth A Look: 14.75%
Pretty Bad: 27.87%
Total Crap: 16.39%

4 reviews, 37 user ratings

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Angel Eyes (2001)
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by Erik Childress

"'Angel Eyes' More Sleepy Than Heavenly"
2 stars

Itís easy to understand why Warner Bros. has had a hard time marketing Angel Eyes to the general moviegoer. Even after seeing it, Iím still not quite sure what itís supposed to be about. Everything youíve seen or read about this film would point in the direction of the supernatural, like a cross between The Sixth Sense and City of Angels, but you couldnít be more deluded. The tagline of the film reads: ďThe deeper you look, the more you will find.Ē But Iíve always found it pointless to search for treasure at the bottom of a dry well.

The film opens with a traffic accident that seems very devastating except that weíre reserved to only a couple points of view. Over to one of the vehicles is Chicago policewoman Sharon Pogue (Jennifer Lopez) who comforts an unseen victim before the film cuts to a year later. Hmmm, you think this has something to do with the rest of the plot? Well, I guess since people didnít catch on with Bruce Willis getting shot in the dead people movie, the filmmakers thought the same rug could be used over our eyes again.

But this film isnít about dead people, unless you count James Caviezel who plays the mysterious Catch Lambert. Why he is mysterious? Because he goes around unshaven in a long coat, not saying much in a monotone voice and helping strangers. Early on it appears as if Caviezel stepped out of his role in Pay It Forward and carried over the mantra his druggie character learned into this story. But his devotion to the common man ends when he sees the beautiful Sharon and begins stalking her from afar.

Their paths cross finally when olí Catch saves her from the aftermath of a failed drive-by attempt directed at her fellow cops. Sharon, intrigued and thankful to this guy who likes to sit alone in bars, has no qualms about inviting him back to her apartment and doesnít even break much of a sweat when he casually looks through her drawers. He even charms her with lines like ďI was trying to imagine you without your clothes on.Ē If that were a sexy come-on line, it might work in a Zalman King kinda way, but not when itís played off like a misspoken joke. (He meant street clothes, not her police uniform.)

Up to this point, the underlying meaning of the story appears to be to search for the good in every person or situation, no matter how cynical or cautious you may be. That may be good advice for critics going into screen Angel Eyes, but comes off more like hypocritical pandering when that intention is lost through a series of half-baked subplots involving disrespecting gangbangers and a history of wife beating in Sharonís family.

The relationship between Catch and Sharon develops through a series of (mostly) well-written, but poorly acted scenes (all by Caviezel). Naturally when relationships in movies like this peak, we are treated to not dialogue, but the creatively challenged standby, the musical montage. At least in this one we get to see Jennifer Lopez in her black underwear, but thatís a minor plus in a film full of negatives thatís trying to teach positives.

But Sharon just HAS to know. Who exactly is Catch? Whatís his deal? Is he a guardian angel? How could he be if everyone sees him? And why is he such a bad actor? The answers to these questions are answered in due time in Angel Eyes. Not before all the clues are laid out like an institute for the blind that would rather scream at its patients than take the time to teach Braille. But Iíll take on that last question nevertheless.

JAMES CAVIEZEL CAN NOT ACT! If the cheap seats couldnít hear me, add a few more exclamation marks. Can someone please tell him that heís awake and that his dryness as an actor wouldnít even be welcome to flood victims? He smirked his way through The Thin Red Line and added more insult with an anesthetized performance in Frequency, which was half-ruined by him alone. Here, as the romantic lead, he proves that women too can be possessed by nothing more than a pretty face with absolutely nothing going on underneath.

As that woman, Lopez fares much better than she did in last summerís The Cell. Acting up against Caviezel certainly helps as you can see a wealth of difference between each of their big monologues towards the end of the film. The camera is so tight on his face for his tears (as opposed to Lopezís) that you can only wonder where the onions are strategically placed. And I suppose if a single performance can encapsulate an entire film, Caviezelís is the best way to describe Angel Eyes.

I couldnít help but continue to think of the far superior (and vastly overlooked) 1993 romance Untamed Heart with Marisa Tomeiís waitress slowly falling in love with the shy, soft-spoken mysterious short-order cook played by Christian Slater. Similarities will jump out at anyone who remembers that little gem such as the timid, humble guy living a quiet life and would rather sit alone amidst a roomful of people. Catch befriends a stray dog here, revealing that the dog told him that his name is Bob while Slater told Tomei that he doesnít know his own dogís name because he never asked. Catch even takes it upon himself to pick up a trumpet on stage at a jazz club (over no oneís objections) and performs the same number that played over Heartís opening credits.

I guess even after Lopez broke up with P. ďdonít call me Puff DaddyĒ Diddy, the yearning for sampling still beats somewhere in her heart. Ironic for a film that is eventually about letting go of the past even if that involves forgetting about your mother getting beaten, sending your dad to jail, watching your brother pick up where dad left off and killing your family altogether. At least, I think thatís what it was about. And frankly, I didnít care enough about it to look any deeper.

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originally posted: 05/16/01 08:20:26
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell IT SUCKS 1 stars
1/28/07 David Pollastrini not great, not terrible 3 stars
10/03/06 Lisa Craven Entertaining and just okay 3 stars
8/03/06 Nicole Story line was not totally played out, was off a bit 2 stars
4/10/05 Cheryl Mayfield Jeez, will Jennifer Lopez ever be good again like in THE WEDDING SINGER? 2 stars
7/21/04 carmen greene i adore this movie and jim performance 5 stars
3/27/04 Nicole omg you guys are so rude! Ok ediots lets see you act..stupid ediots..i love this movie 5 stars
11/04/03 Roland If you haven't experienced deep emotional pain you probably didn't feel this movie. 4 stars
10/25/03 R.W. Welch Thinly disguised soaper seems slightly off key most of the time. Acting only passable. 2 stars
6/04/03 Charles Tatum What is this? 3 stars
4/10/03 Jay Lowe I really get some crap since Jennifer Lopez chose a name that sounds just like mine. 2 stars
3/12/03 Anna I never seen the movie, but since it has J-HOE in it, it;s GOTTA suck! 1 stars
2/08/03 Jack Sommersby I kinda liked this, too, Charles -- even with the overemployed Lopez in it! 3 stars
11/14/02 MGT Is is j-lows 15 minutes up yet???? Pure fecal matter 1 stars
10/15/02 Cheryl Mayfield Jeez, will Jennifer Lopez ever be good again like in THE WEDDING SINGER? 2 stars
4/03/02 Aimee Dallaire I loved it!! 5 stars
2/04/02 KMG Lopez can't act...plain and simple. And Caviezel...why does he take this shit? 3 stars
12/24/01 Renoluck sentimental and interesting 4 stars
11/29/01 Amy Genuine performance by Lopez. Too honest for the movie going public. 4 stars
11/26/01 Tam Having trouble getting to sleep? Watch this. 2 stars
10/11/01 daniboy I really don't get why they let this woman act. caviezel's second awful movie in a row. 2 stars
9/29/01 R.S.S "Total Crap" doesn't even describe it. Go about 5 levels lower. 1 stars
6/22/01 WOW! suckie suckie, worthless than five dolla! 1 stars
6/15/01 Super Nintendo Chalmers I was dragged to the theater to see this lame, pitiful hogwash. What a waste. 2 stars
6/10/01 J White Terrible move for Lopez, Lopez needs a role and a co-star that synergizes her assets. 1 stars
6/05/01 Psyko Doug You think there is going to be some cool plot twist...but there isn't. Predictable. 3 stars
6/02/01 Jim "J-Lo" WAKE UP PEOPLE SHE CAN'T SING OR ACT!!!fuckin' geesh 1 stars
5/30/01 gloria boring slow moving, waste of time and money. 2 stars
5/30/01 Thrillhouse 5 words for this movie: THIS MOVIE SUCKED MAJOR ASS! BTW, J-Lo gets it! 1 stars
5/28/01 taera lea a plotless romance with overly dramatic undertones 1 stars
5/26/01 Jim JoLo continuing her Selena role. The definition f sucks all ass 1 stars
5/24/01 JB Deep shit, great actors, some cheese, yet very touching. 5 stars
5/24/01 Rampage this was worse than The Cell and Wedding Planner 2 stars
5/23/01 Beebee Sorry, I liked it in spite of the loose ends and weaknesses 3 stars
5/20/01 astrotart Pretty lame movie....but Jim Caviezel kept me awake yearning for more scenes involving him! 3 stars
5/20/01 Gary This movie rocked, JOLO is hottttt 5 stars
5/20/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Memo to J-Lo: You can't dominate the top 10 AND the box office. That's just how it is. 2 stars
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  18-May-2001 (R)
  DVD: 16-Aug-2001



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