A very pleasant picture serving two distinct dishes made from the delicate but delicious-if-done-right recipe of relationships, ambition, and personal passion. The cast is excellent (though Streep is the clear star with her hilarious and effortlessly charming Julia) and the multi-faceted writing is well-balanced (the letter/blog voiceovers add a wonderful warm butter-like flavour to savour throughout), with Eric’s sudden departure and the “Julia hates me” thread left hanging the only missteps.
When Robert Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks, and together they must race across Europe against the clock to foil a deadly global plot. (IMDb)
Pretty damn grim at some points, both to its detriment (Langdon’s hellish and nausea-inducing opening nightmare sequence was a poor choice to have at the beginning of the film) and to its benefit (the unflinching camera during the plot’s moments of violence helped highlight the high stakes–see the two falls to death). The rest of it is a mixed bag as well: the clue-hopping remains fun but cheesy, the third-act character twists feel arbitrary but keep you engaged until the suspenseful climax.
When disgraced New York Times reporter Michael Finkel meets accused killer Christian Longo – who has taken on Finkel’s identity – his investigation morphs into a game of cat-and-mouse. (IMDb)
Has all the makings of a solid drama-thriller–a stirring psychological premise, striking cinematography, an unsettling stringed soundtrack–but a shoddy script (not helped by Franco’s flat performance as the killer in question) continually disappoints with its lifeless dialogue, suspense-less plot (the courtroom climax is anything but), underwhelming pay-off (the stolen identity bit is resolved in one sentence), and surface-y relationships (Finkel and Jill’s never warrants Jones’ tense looks).