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Cat and mouse. Jonathan McQuarry is an auditor in Manhattan, moving from office to office checking their books. While working late, a smooth and well-dressed man named Wyatt Bose chats Jonathan up, offers him a joint, and soon they're pals. When their cell phones are accidentally swapped, Jonathan answers Wyatt's phone to a series of women asking if he's free tonight. Jonathan discovers it's a sex club: busy powerful people meet each other anonymously in hotels. Jonathan falls for one of the club members, whom he knows only as "S," whom he's also seen on a subway. When she goes missing, patterns emerge and Jonathan faces demands involving violence and lots of money.Written by
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.
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