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14 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
A Thinking-Person's Thriller, 14 January 2003

I've read the other comments and was surprised by the vast differences of opinion. This was a fantastic movie. It's not Seven and it's not Silence of the Lambs. It's all it's own. I'm an Anglo-American, but have grown up in Hawaii, a deeply Asian-influenced region. I think that makes a big difference in how you receive this movie. It has obvious American undertones, but sustains an Asian cultural subtext that some may not understand. The gore is secondary. Dialogue, too. Movement, real acting and phenomenal shooting makes this an event, not just a movie. The director, actors and even the lighting crew is showing us, not telling us a fantastic story.

The troubled cop beginning of this movie might feel problematic to some, but if you think about it, it really is telling you to not believe everything you think. You think this is going to be a film about one thing and it is about another thing. You think the killer is one character and it is another. Using all available to the genre and medium, the director wastes nothing. He uses music, cinemotagraphy, location, lighting and pacing to convey time, feeling and motive or inspiration if you will. Nothing is rushed and nothing is obvious. I loved that the longing the cop and the "victim" have for each other is so subtle, so quiet. It's almost smoldering and chaste at the same time.

The twists are fantastic, too. You are lead in one direction and you think, "Ah, ha. That's who I thought it was." and then you are told that is not correct. You are left second-guessing yourself to the very end.

A lot of people may feel unsatisfied with the ending because it doesn't tie everything up in a pretty bow. Why did the killer kill? What happens next? How did it happen? I like that. There is nothing more disturbing than being treated like a bumbling idiot by a director or screen writer. I want to think. I want to question. Just like the old saying if you have to have a joke explained to you, you don't get it. This movie needs no explanation. It needs critical thinking people to watch it. Just like reality, not everything is explained. This is a thinking-person's thriller. I certainly hope Hollywood does not re-make this film. It is perfect the way it is with it's Asian sensibilities and rhythm. I loved it!

It certainly is one of the best movies I've seen in a long time and probably the best thriller in recent memory.

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Changing Lanes made me want to change theaters., 8 May 2002

Changing Lanes is sold as a thriller. There was nothing thrilling about this movie. All crucial elements to the story were shown in the trailer. Ben Afflack's character Gavin is flat and the film shows no reasonable explanation for why he suddenly changes into some one with backbone.

Samuel L. Jackson's Doyle doesn't follow the character's development either. He is meant to be a regular guy who is just trying to do the right thing. Why then does he do the wrong thing? His soon-to-be or already ex-wife (this was a little confusing in the movie.) is about the least believable female character I've ever seen. We first meet her at a court date Gavin has missed. She seems unreasonable and shrewish. Then towards the end of the movie she is understanding and sympathetic then a few minutes later she is unbelievably enraged and becomes vindictive. About the only plausible character in this entire movie is William Hurt as Doyle's sponsor. He is quiet and does the only true-to-life thing in the movie. He says that Doyle is a drama queen and is only creating this turmoil for the sake of turmoil. All too true. As a part of the movie-going public I demand that a character in a drama and/or thriller have some motivation behind his actions. In Changing Lanes all any character does is act or react to move the thin plot along. This is a poorly written, and heavy-handed movie. I would not recommend it to any one.