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Every day they show tons of pointless movies on your screen about serial killers and even if it is my fave genre I come often to a point that I wanna return to the days where Snowy White and her dwarfs ruled but okay this picture is all by all not bad, in fact it could have been a superb movie if only the scriptwriters wouldn't be such idiots... This movie leaves you more with unanswered questions than an average Wim Wendersmovie and it just feels like they didn't care to answer them at all, just an ordinary actionmovie that happens to have good (cheap?) actors like Dennis Quaid and Danny Glover.
Switchback is a decent film, despite what you may have heard. The cast is great, but suffers from a somewhat predictable script. Dennis Quaid is perfect as a relentless FBI agent trying to find his kidnapped son. The film is watchable, but tries(and fails) to keep you guessing before the finale. Nice effort, but the script needed some tweaking. 2/4
Dennis Quaid is his usual pensive and dour self as an FBI agent tracking a serial killer in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. This is not the usual serial killer movie but a slow moving thriller that reveals the identity of the killer two-thirds into the movie. Although's Quaid acting is colourless, it doesn't vitiate the quality of the movie. The storyline is engaging and rest of the cast makes up with their spirited performances, especially Danny Glover, Jared Leto and R. Lee Ermey as the brilliant Sheriff Buck Olmstead. A well conceived movie that on the whole, is watchable but could have been so much better with a faster pace.
This movie had the potential to be an excellent thriller. Glover and Leto's performance was very good, but Quaid's fell short, he was just plain dull. The scenery was beautiful, which added greatly to the movie, but the ending was very disappointing. Overall I give this movie a 6 out of 10.
Even though you know that Danny Glover is the bad guy so is going to have to pay you can't help but like him as well. All of the cast were superb and you feel so sorry for Jared Leto when he realises what's been going on. I would definitely recommend this film to anybody.
Switchback has some nice moments. And the idea of a popular serial killer
rather than a "loner" one is quite interesting. But the basic premise of
film - that this serial killer is setting up an FBI Agent (Dennis Quaid)
from the beginning, relies too heavily on plot devices and very little on
The killings at the end of the film are worse than perfunctory - with very little impact given to the unmotivated killing of a "close friend" of the killer. The idea being it is to further set the trap.
The clues left for the FBI agent are too obscure and quite likely to be completely missed by the agent, except of course the plot couldn't have that.
The final act - where the agent goes to find his abducted son is so cliched and tacked on as to be almost laughable.
A shame really because there really are some lovely moments - the best of which centre around the feuding "sheriffs" - two men trying to be elected into that office. The reigning Sheriff - Buck, is a delight in a film that generally lacks a lot of quailty believable moments.
My viewing partner has only two words on this film so i will end with his quote... "F******g Terrible"
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Pity the poor writer of detective fiction. The nature of the beast is to establish a game of wits between the reader and writer. More recently that has been mirrored in a similar battle of wits between the detective and an archenemy, often a serial killer.
Even more recently a cinematic vocabulary has developed where the killings themselves are supposed to contain clues in this grand battle. Unfortunately in translating to film, the work of detection on the part of the viewer is dropped as Hollywood doesn't like to market films that demand thought.
So the writer must turn to other devices or be left with a disaster like, say `Bone Collector.' `The Pledge' took the genre in one direction and with skill produced a fine film. Here, another direction is attempted with less success.
The device here is that the killer is an appealing fellow who cleverly uses surrogates to divert attention. We briefly are confused by his most recent partner, but way too soon all is made clear.
It is also a tradition with mysteries that some unfamiliar slice of life is employed in the setting and perhaps the clues. Here, the device is the western rail system. although all sorts of possibilities are there to be mined, we are reduced to simple use of fights on a speeding train.
Alas. Great possibilities are ignored all throughout, and we are given cliches: for instance the old cat-jumping-out trick at the beginning and the old spike-through-the-bad-guy at the end.
I like the cast pretty much however the story sort of unfolds rather slowly. Danny Glover does a good job making you wonder if he's the bad guy. Meanwhile, the other characters are just part of the story. Dennis Quaid didn't have as much room in the story as he could have had. I thought the first scene was a bit over the top grim compared to how the story unfolded. I'd watch it again though. I rated it a 5 (wish I could rate it a 5.5)
For me, this movie just seemed to fall on its face. The main problem for me was the casting of Glover as a serial killer. I don't know whether this grows out of type-casting or simply his demeanor, but I doubt Glover could ever portray a convincing villain. He's a good guy, and that's always obvious in his performances. Other than that the film is your run of the mill serial killer story. Nothing very innovative .
The script weighs us down with an overly convoluted plot filled with
too many characters. We know from the get-go there is a serial killer
lurking somewhere in this film. But the plot tracks two almost
non-overlapping threads that, though they come together at the end more
or less, generate confusion and vagueness through most of the film. I
would have to ask ... who is the story's protagonist? It's not at all
clear, as the plot darts this way, then that, back and forth, with
several characters occupying about the same amount of screen time.
Except for Sheriff Olmstead (R. Lee Ermey) none of these people are interesting. Dennis Quaid's character is so dull and deadpan as to be inert. And if Quaid's vocal delivery had been any softer I don't think he would have been audible. Baby faced Jared Leto does not convince as a medical student. And, though we learn the identity of the killer way too soon, the killer's manner is such as to make him not the least bit scary, regardless of the too-soon reveal.
The two plot lines are set in different geographical locales, one in Texas, the other in the mountains of Colorado; why? Is that really necessary? The Texas setting is preoccupied with local politics, with its attendant chatter, which drains away the suspense of a serial-killer plot. Indeed, the screenplay is filled not only with too many characters, but also too much dialogue.
Cinematography is quite good, especially in the second half, with some interesting mountain scenery and camera angles. The visuals are easily the best element of the film. Editing and production design are pretty good, but background music seems irrelevant.
The basic problem is a script that needed a re-write or two. It's almost like two separate films. Too bad, because some of the cinematography is quite good. If you skip the first half, the second half makes a decent travelogue through the snowy Colorado mountains.
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