(out of 5)
Lame thriller that fails to incite any tension thanks to some ridiculous plot points and half-hearted performances. Michael Douglas plays an overworked psychiatrist specializing in teenagers whose daughter is kidnapped by a group of criminals led by Sean Bean, who offer her back only in return for him doing a quick analysis on mental patient Brittany Murphy. It seems that the institutionalized Murphy has an important number in her head that the group wants, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it. Douglas is required to undo ten years of varying mental treatments in one day to accomplish this, while his bedridden wife (Famke Janssen) is stuck at home fearing what might happen next to their family, and Jennifer Esposito has a completely incongruous plot line as the investigating detective who stumbles upon this particular case. Gary Fleder’s direction couldn’t possibly be more flaccid, and it doesn’t help that the story is riddled with stupid movie cliches, including the “family man” who has nothing better to do after a double-shift day on the job than come home, light up a bunch of IKEA candles and give his wife a sponge bath in her bed (in front of an open window). Murphy’s character is easily susceptible to Douglas’ treatment, while the much-abused cliche of superchildren that have invaded movies of late is flailed once again and the filmmakers spare no expense at making the character of Douglas’ daughter (Skye McCole Bartusiak) as annoying as possible: she does psychological profiles of all her captors and then figures out that she can transport her voice through twelve-hundred thousand miles of her building’s ventilation systems–what a genius! Maybe if we’re lucky she’ll solve the hunger crisis and figure out a way to refill the ozone layer. This movie is so terrible as to make one itch.
Directed by Gary Fleder
Cinematography by Amir Mokri
Music by Mark Isham
Production Design by Nelson Coates
Costume Design by Ellen Mirojnick