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    Arthur J Pais | March 19, 2004 15:27 IST

    Even a spirited performance by Angelina Jolie and decent technical contributions, including a fine score by Philip Glass, could not make Taking Lives a gripping serial killer thriller.

    You would be better off watching the far superior Seven (which seems to have inspired many scenes in this film) on video. As the new movie moved from one cliché to another, I was itching to get out and watch the recent Oscar-winning hit Monster. That, too, is savage, bloody and depressing, but far more imaginatively told.

    Yet, I suspect Taking Lives will attract a substantial number of viewers in the first two or three weeks and will be a modest hit. The undemanding viewers may fall for its atmospheric look and contrived plot twists. They may even lap up the 20-minute climax when the identity of the culprit is revealed!

    While Seven was grisly, it had heart-pounding moments and eye-popping revelations. In Taking Lives, the prolonged, gruesome scenes cause irritation and plenty of yawns.

    While the character of the unorthodox FBI agent Illeana Scott (Angelina Jolie) is compelling and interesting to a certain point, the script fails to develop it fully. Scott is a loner, and her colleagues and superiors do not like that side of her personality. But they grudgingly admire her sharp insights.

    A few minutes into the film, we understand that for some unknown reason, the Canadian police have sought the help of an American FBI agent (Scott) who has built a reputation for profiling serial killers.

    We also have a very distraught and confused mother (Gena Rowlands) who tells the police that she has almost certainly just spotted a 'missing son' who could be up to dirty mischief. She had believed for nearly two decades that the son had been dead.

    While Scott continues her investigations, she also discovers that that the murderer has been knocking off victims and assuming their identities until he moves on to a new victim. Soon he has a name: Life Jacker.

    More complications follow when Scott comes across a complex character called James Costa (Ethan Hawke), an art dealer who could be the killer. He could also be just a target of the killer. Despite her cautionary attitude (but without surprising the audience), Scott is intrigued and fascinated by Costa.

    But when an even more complex and a truly menacing character called Hart (Kiefer Sutherland) turns up, the plot becomes muddier and the attention from Costa is diverted. The new plot twist adds tedium than genuine excitement to the proceedings.

    Jolie is better in this film than in her recent films, the Lara Croft sequel, The Cradle Of Life (an also-ran film) and the disastrous Beyond Borders. But that is no consolation. Neither her performance nor the stunning visuals are an excuse to see this overdrawn and relentlessly bloody film.

    I have not read the Michael Pye novel of the same name that inspired the film. Published in 1998, it was a bestseller. Many major newspapers gave it good reviews. 'Riveting and horrifying... A memorable, unsettling book,' USA Today wrote. Chicago Tribune thought it was 'a highly unusual psychological thriller... a dimension of suspense of which most writers in the genre are never aware.'

    Often what looks engrossing in a book becomes distorted and illogical when transferred to the big screen unless an awfully smart scriptwriter handles the transfer. Taking Lives, the film, may be yet another example of a decent, gripping novel wasted on big screen.

    CREDITS:
    Cast: Angelina Jolie, Ethan Hawke, Kiefer Sutherland and Gena Rowlands
    Director: D J Caruso
    Screenplay: Jon Bokenkamp, based on the novel by Michael Pye
    Running time: 105 minutes
    Rating: R for strong violence, disturbing images, language and sexuality.
    Released by: Warner Bros
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        Mi trovi su: Homepage Homepage #3834456
    Jolie is better in this film than in her recent films, the Lara Croft sequel, The Cradle Of Life (an also-ran film) and the disastrous Beyond Borders. But that is no consolatio...


    e' una recensione del film Taking Lives con Angelina Jolie

    nella quale l'autore definisce questo il miglior film in assoluto interpretato
    dalla nota attrice americana ..tomb raider compresi ....:rolleyes:
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  3.     Mi trovi su: Homepage #3834457
    Originally posted by Roberto-web
    Jolie is better in this film than in her recent films, the Lara Croft sequel, The Cradle Of Life (an also-ran film) and the disastrous Beyond Borders. But that is no consolatio...

    [...] l'autore definisce questo il miglior film in assoluto interpretato
    dalla nota attrice americana ..tomb raider compresi ....:rolleyes:




    Beh, almeno non ha definito "disastrous" the Cradle of Life...:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
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  Two words to watch Taking Lives: Angelina Jolie

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