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David O. Russell
An ecologically engaged company, Atlantis, organized and operated by three environmental activists, finds success because of its implementation of principles predicated upon a preached gospel of civic righteousness, but following deaths of two company interns following their exposure to radiation while assisting in the firm's waste site cleanup projects, litigator's expenses in addition to adverse legislative measures directed specifically against Atlantis sharply reduce the company's status and public image, with one of the partners, Jon (Bill Sage), receiving a prison sentence while another, Lauren (Amanda Donohoe) disappears from view, and it is the latter's return to the company fold that forms the germ of the film's scenario. Although a government conspiracy may in fact be afoot, the Atlantis management may also have been involved in devious doings, but a weakly constructed script is so full of holes and lapses in logic that the producers' ostensible purpose of projecting a mood of suspense is defeated early on, while Donohoe's narrow range of acting skill merely accentuates her character's failure to demonstrate the courage of her convictions. Sage is also limited in Thespic ability, but Danton Stone, as the third of the Atlantis partners, does his best with poorly written dialogue; Paul Calderon as an odd FBI agent seems to be playing without direction of any sort. This apparently is also the case with Jeremy Davies, as an ally of Lauren, and whose customary fey mannerisms are uncontrolled, resulting in a twitchy, altogether dreadful performance, certainly his worst, as this is an able player who simply should not be given free rein. Acting laurels clearly go to Adrienne Shelly for her competent turn as company counsel, an underwritten role. Visuals for the production's DVD release, titled THE ATLANTIS CONSPIRACY, are of fine quality and the camera-work and editing are top-flight.
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