Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.5.
Spain/United Kingdom/France, 2008. Canal+ España, Canal+, Eurimages, HBC, ICO, La Fabrique de Films, Oxford Crimes, Telecinco Cinema, Tornasol Films, Universal, Warner Bros.. Screenplay by Alex de la Iglesia, Jorge Guerricaechevarria, based on the novel Crimenes Imperceptibles by Guillermo Martinez. Cinematography by Kiko de la Rica. Produced by Alvaro Augustin, Verane Frediani, Gerardo Herrero, Kevin Loader, Frank Ribiere. Music by Roque Baños. Production Design by Cristina Casali. Costume Design by Paco Delgado. Film Editing by Alejandro Lazaro.
Elijah Wood shows up at Oxford to study mathematics and, almost within minutes of arriving, finds himself embroiled in a web of murders. While running from victim to victim trying to make the connections that might solve the case, he also sparks up an affair with sexy Leonor Watling and befriends a professor (John Hurt) with whom he investigates clues. Fuzzy plotting and an unsatisfying payoff are difficult to sit through in a film with a few moments of visual panache but clearly directed by a filmmaker uncomfortable with a screenplay in a foreign language; it’s another in a long line of Eurotrash genre pictures made with English-speaking actors for maximum box-office potential, and the compromise shows clearly. It also does not help that Wood is sorely miscast, constantly wide-eyed and bewildered in a role that has him relentlessly pursuing danger and sexually conquering women who could take him in an arm wrestle. The cast also includes one of the last appearances of the great Anna Massey.