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Two things to say about this film.
Firstly, what an astoundingly rubbish title for a movie. "Deception"??? Oh, come on. Can you think of a more non-committal, less interesting, less imaginative title for a movie? I can't. All thrillers are about deception, of one kind or another.
"Deception" originally went into production under the title "The List". Hmm... Well... OK. I admit it. That title is also pretty bad. Then, "Deception" was going to be called "The Tourist". Now, I kind of like that. Sounds art house and kind of strange. Conjures up images of an observer, an outsider. Somebody not in the loop. In fact, pretty much the character that Ewan McGregor plays.
Secondly, what a completely rubbish movie! OK, maybe not completely rubbish. Just mostly rubbish.
"Deception" is a good 20 minutes too long. After a while it just seems to go on and on. The climax is misjudged and mistimed. The sex is typical Movies 24 soft core erotica, or maybe a Friday night Channel 5 movie from the early Noughties. You know the kind of thing. Soft focus humping to a soundtrack of screaming saxophone driven jazz. (Mind you don't trip over the cliché, there chief!) Also, every plot twist in "Deception" is signposted way in advance. If you don't get at least one of the major plot twists then, frankly, you really should give up watching movies. Pretty lame, pretty dull, pretty bad movie.
I said 'mostly rubbish', so some of it must have been good. Yes?
I did like the film's chilly, European ambiance. I liked the idea of powerful people, too isolated and too busy to develop human relationships. I liked Hugh Jackman's well dressed and cold instigator, Ewan McGregor's lonely accountant and Michelle Williams' bruised vulnerability. I thought all three leads made the most of their underwritten roles, but sadly it was not enough.
There is plenty of space in this world for a good, sexualised thriller (see the original "Basic Instinct"), but sadly "Deception" was nothing like a good sexualised thriller.
Jonathan McQuarry, is an accountant who strikes up a friendship with a
lawyer called Wyatt Bose. After accidentally swapping phones, McQuarry
starts getting calls from women who are part of a group of people who
meet purely for casual sexual encounters. During one of these, McQuarry
meets a blonde woman whom he becomes close to. When he's attacked and
she disappears, he discovers more going on than he realized....
From the above plot description some people can figure out where the story is heading. I for one did. It's a sad fact that the script written by Mark Bomback holds no surprises at all. It also doesn't help that there are plot holes that aren't explained or dealt with. The direction by Marcel Langenegger is okay, but he doesn't add any tension into the movie.
What does save the movie are the three main performances. Michelle Williams is suitably enigmatic as the girl involved, Hugh Jackman as Wyatt Bose brings charm and charisma to the part, and Ewan McGregor as Jonathan McQuarry convinces as the straight, lonely accountant seduced into the events played out.
However the performances alone can't save the movie from being a disappointing, predictable thriller.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When I first saw the trailer to Deception, I was intrigued, but a
little put off, we haven't had a thriller release in theaters that was
actually good in a while, let alone a sexy thriller. But I saw
Deception on Sunday and I think the rating on IMDb is a little harsh to
be honest, this was such a cool, sexy, and sleek thriller, true, it was
a little predictable if you've seen every thriller possible, but
Deception kept me interested and had a good story with an equally
strong cast. I was a little disappointed in the ending, it seemed like
they could've had something a little stronger with Hugh and Ewan, like
they would've been a great pair of trouble makers for the world to
watch out for. But it was also cool to see the female fetal back, which
we rarely see, and Michelle Williams was a great choice, she had the
looks and the talent to pull this movie together with the two strong
Jonathan is an accountant, one of the best, but his life is just what you expect of an accountant: boring, typical, and no ladies, but he meets Wyatt, a handsome, strong, successful lady's man, they become best friends immediately. When Jonathan accidentally grabs Wyatt's cell phone, Wyatt is in a different country, so Jonathan uses the cell and gets involved with a sex club. He meets S, a mysterious girl he just falls for, but when she is "kidnapped", he gets in a lot deeper than he expects and doesn't realize the set up he fell for.
Deception is predictable in some ways, the ending, if you are used to these thrillers, yes, you're going to be able to see what's coming, sad, I know, but I'm so used to it that I'm just accepting it. I thought this was still a clever thriller, I just loved Hugh's performance, he was so into his character, he made it sexy and creepy. Ewan pulls in a decent performance and stands strong, the ending is his peek in the film and Michelle was just great as S. Deception is a cool thriller I highly recommend, it's a sexy movie that won't leave you disappointed.
Is this the first thriller you have ever watched? Then you might be
entertained a bit. If you have watched a few, you will not only see
every twist and plot point coming before the screen writer had thought
of it, but you will be able to guess the ending too ... Well actually
you might be better off, watching the trailer, because there is not
really anything good in the movie other than that. Because, erotic this
one ain't. Not even suspenseful or anything like that ...
What is a saving grace then? Well if you will the actors. Although they are pretty stiff here too. But they have that B-movie appeal to them, a bit trashy actually. The so called "erotic" Scenes are only worth mentioning, for being anything, but that or even sensual! Although the montage is so trashy, that it's actually a bit fun (in a trashy way). The ending alone deserves a 2 out of 10 vote ... that is if you aren't actually too harsh towards it! Rather watch "Basic Instinct" again, if you want an erotic thriller ... heck even the second Basic Instinct has something going for it (if you count the trash factor in!). Anyway, just in case I wasn't clear enough: I wouldn't recommend watching this
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In Manhattan, the shy auditor Jonathan McQuarry (Ewan McGregor)
befriends the lawyer Wyatt Bose (Hugh Jackman) in the office where he
is working. While having lunch together, they accidentally swap their
cell phones and Wyatt travels to London. Jonathan receives a phone call
from a woman scheduling a meeting in a hotel, and sooner he finds that
Wyatt is member of a sex club called The List where he has one night
stand with successful businesswomen. Among the rules, the participants
should stay anonymous to the partner. Jonathan joins The List and when
he dates a woman that he had previously met in the subway whose name
begins with the letter "S" (Michelle Williams), he falls in love for
her. They schedule a next encounter in Chinatown, and S is kidnapped
from their room in the hotel. Jonathan seeks the police, but without
any information about S, he can not report a missing person. When Wyatt
returns from London, Jonathan discovers that he is trapped in a dirty
scheme of slush money.
When I saw the trailer of "Deception", I truly believed that it could be a great movie. However, the movie is a complete deception, with a predictable and unrealistic story full of clichés and stupid plot holes. For example, how could a man with the profile of Jonathan smoke pot with a stranger in the office where he is working? And later, while chasing Wyatt, why should he tell to a secretary that he had smoked marijuana with Wyatt in the meeting room? How could Wyatt so easily circulate in an office and in a fancy building in Manhattan without having problem with the security guards or the porter? Why should Jonathan leave twenty million dollars in the Spanish park after having his life destroyed? How easy is to make an American passport and travel with the name of a dead man? I could list many other holes in the story, like the scene of the explosion of the apartment. Further, the predictable twist with the appearance of Jonathan is simply terrible and the corny and awful conclusion shows that love is beautiful. In the end, the only thing that works perfectly in this story is its tile that summarizes my feeling for the whole movie. My vote is four.
Title (Brazil): "A Lista" ("The List")
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I went into the theater because of the interesting star combination of
Hiugh Jackman and Ewan McGregor. I did not have an idea what the story
would be about. However, the simple (and unimaginative) title was a
give-away of the plot. Within the first ten minutes, you already feel
you have seen this movie before. I immediately thought of the Clive
Owen-Jennifer Aniston movie "Derailed." (The initial chance seduction
occurred at a train station, as well.)
John McQuarrie (Ewan McGregor) is a lonely accountant/auditor with zero social life. He gets hooked into a sex "list" by the magnetic man's man Wyatt Bose (Hugh Jackman). There he meets the girl of his dreams simply known to him as "S" (Michelle Williams). Of course, since the title gives away the plot, you knew this set-up was all an elaborate deception, and nothing is really what it seemed.
As for the plot, there were a lot of improbabilities that weaken the story (some spoilers follow later for those interested). The suspense was a bit muted because the director was generous with the clues. Or may be we have just watched to many of these variations of this story in movies.
The sex "list" set-up (which was the main thing of interest that set this movie apart from others like it) was most likely inspired by real such social clubs. These lurid circles where busy people just call each other randomly for some anonymous commitment-free sex, I am sure, ordinary guys like us will never get mixed up with in real life. This movie does give us a vicarious teasing peek into this alternative lifestyle, though.
I did like the triumph of good at the end though, because there were no strings attached.
I could not help but compare this film with "Derailed" because they were so similar, and "Derailed" was clearly better in all aspects. That said, this film "Deception" is really not that bad as the cheap local posters (that resort to sexy photos of girls in lingerie) would suggest.
***********SPOILERS FOLLOW************** These are the questions that the movie requires you to turn a blind eye on: How could Bose possibly assume that McQuarrie would do his criminal bidding just because of "S"? At that time, McQuarrie had only met "S" twice, and they did not even have sex yet. And indeed, can an auditor actually gain access to perform multi-million dollar money transfers from the company he is auditing? Also, is it that easy to create fake passports? Especially in the case of McQuarrie.
The thriller genre has been well explored and perfected over decades of
cinema. While some familiar elements and conventions are to be expected
in a new release, you would expect, at the very least, that a new entry
tops the previous ones.
And sadly, Deception does not. The movie almost feels like a remake of Curtis Hanson's Bad Influence. A movie that was made almost twenty years ago and features two main characters that are carbon copies of those of McGregor and Jackman, only they were played respectively by James Spader and Rob Lowe.
Whatever "twists" are found in Deception, you see them coming from a mile and they fall flat. The acting? Everybody seems to be cashing his check. One-dimensional characters and an aimless plot make for a boring two hours. Even the "list" subplot feels tacked on and doesn't even provide any enjoyment, nor does it add anything to the film.
The photography is amazing but this is truly a poor Hollywood movie and one that you will be better off passing on, unless you are a die-hard fan of the genre or one of the main actors featured. All in all, a tremendous waste of talent and resources due to a crappy script.
This movie is supposed to be a thriller, but is unfortunately quite
short of "thrills".
My biggest complaint would be the movie's pace - it is very slow, and at times quite boring.
There are far too many implausabilities and plot holes, but even if you suspend your disbelief and just accept the story being told, it's still not a very good movie.
The script just isn't very good.
This is by no means the worst movie ever, however if you're looking for a GOOD thriller, I would not recommend this movie as one.
It's a shame really, because Hugh needs another good movie to boost his career. His last few have not been critical or box office smash hits (save the X-Men franchise), and I'm starting to seriously doubt his ability to pick good scripts. Hopefully "Australia" will turn his sadly not- so-good streak around.
Ewan McGregor never convinces as a meek accountant (who actually admits to sleeping with only four women in his entire life!) whose cell-phone is switched with that of a swinging New York City lawyer (Hugh Jackman, also none-too-convincing with a hack American accent). The accountant allows himself to be submerged in the high toned-yet-seamy lifestyle of the lawyer until he's set up to be the fall-guy in a crime. Continually disappointing, derivative, unimaginative thriller filmed in washed-out winter-blues and grays, crippled by an endlessly-protracted finale. With a seemingly large budget and talented actors in the cast (including Charlotte Rampling--still beautiful in her later years), blame for the picture's failure must fall on Mark Bomback's ridiculous screenplay, which could have been penned by any student just graduating film school. *1/2 from ****
This is a reasonably slick looking movie that falls flat on it's stupid
face, as the movie starts it seems to hold promise, we obviously know
there's a deception of some kind going on, but it's not quite clear
what kind of setup it will be. By the time you see the end scene you
will want to take whatever media the movie is on and smash it to bits
for being so incredibly and utterly, ridiculously, pathetically STUPID.
Whoever wrote this script was borrowing heavily from a MUCH better movie. SKIP this movie, go watch the movie it ripped off:
The Spanish Prisoner.
PLOT: a charismatic new friend introduces a bored/boring accountant to some women that would normally be out of his league, it all seems to good to be true, then comes the gotchya. Unfortunately you will see it coming a mile away, and the end of the movie is so stupid, and so terrible you will really regret watching this dog. If they cut this movie in half and decided to re-shoot it with a believable ending, it might have been a 5, but this movie is a solid 1 because of the low IQ of the plot.
The Spanish Prisoner with Steve Martin is a thousand times better than this stupid dog, that ripped of that script and added some scantily clad women as window dressing and a completely unrealistic "love" interest.
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