Written by Films


From the outset, let’s just say that this is not a good film. Ben Affleck is so so, Uma Thurman seems to be on autopilot after Kill Bill, and there’s no chemistry between them whatsoever.
Based on a Philip K Dick story, the producers no doubt thought they’d be more than happy with Bladerunner or Total Recall type business. They’re going to be in for a shock – although not that big a one if they sit down and watch the finished article.
The film is messy, has plot holes you could get a small oil tanker through and is just not fully thought out. Affleck is a technician who reverse-engineers products for unscrupulous companies who want to rip-off their rivals. He then has his memory wiped at the completion of a job. Quite why this should happen is a little unclear to me, since he knows he did something for them, and the resulting product usually makes waves. But let’s just leave that be.
He gets offered a really big job that’s going to take three years, and next thing he knows is that it’s three years later and the job’s done. But he hasn’t got his “Paycheck” since he seems to have purposefully rescinded it.
I won’t go into all the details but he has a serie of clues to help him fill in the blanks. It’s a run-of-the-mill actioner, which nobody would complain about if it showed up on video. But the knives are really out for Affleck now he’s tied up (so to speak) with J-Lo. Jonathan Ross gave it a horrendous review, and I’m informed that Metro really tore it to bits today, not that I give an enormous deal of credence to Metro’s reviews. It’s poorly done rubbish, but it’s nothing more or less than that. I daresay it cost $100m to put together, when it should have had Jean Claude Van Damme and cost $10m, but it’s harmless.
It’s just a shame that John Woo is behind this. He once made Hard Boiled, Bullet in the Head and The Killer. Now he does this and Face/Off. And get over your motorbike fetish John! We had them in MI2 and now this. His films were never that deep and they’re all out and out action flicks, it’s just that they can be done with more pizzazz.