Deception (2008) Poster

(I) (2008)

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Good performances, but predictable plot twists.
kevin_crighton29 April 2008
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.
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Mostly rubbish
seawalker28 April 2008
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.
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"Derailed" All Over Again
3xHCCH8 May 2008
Warning: 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.
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Great looking people in a terrible, terrible movie.
dilbertsuperman20 January 2010
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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"Are you free tonite? Wanna see a sexy and erotic thriller that will leave you with goosebumps?"
Smells_Like_Cheese30 April 2008
Warning: 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 male leads.

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.

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Great Acting but HORRIBLE ending.. and hard to swallow movie
filmtravel10126 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
It is hard to imagine that Hugh Jackson or Ewan McGregor would sign on to this movie with such a horrible ending and a bunch of impossible parts that just don't seem feasible.... hitchcock would be ashamed of such a ripoff.

Spoilers.... In one day Ewan's character manages to not only get the service guy to open his room instead of him, but also.. here is the kicker, manages to also get a fake passport made and fly to madrid.. but the worst part is that..after he admits to knowing that the girl was in on the scam.. he drops not only his half of the money.. but both.. .and so does the girl... and thus a totally hard to swallow ending. Great to imagine people put Love above money..... but not in this scenario.

I give it a 4 for being such a flop on the mcguffin and twists.. but great actors. what a shame the script sucked!
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Same old, same old...
Siamois22 August 2008
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.
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Erotic? Thriller? Suspense? Where?
kosmasp11 September 2008
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
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When the Title Summarizes the Whole Movie
claudio_carvalho27 March 2009
Warning: 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")
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Unappetizing wallow...a sexed-up cell-phone thriller about as familiar as its title
moonspinner552 February 2011
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 ****
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Insomniac Relief
pdalby-11 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Went to watch this on opening night - 6 people in the theatre - says it all really. The plot drifts around rather aimlessly ending in a very unrealistic shooting in a city centre where nobody noticed a man being shot and bleeding to death. I'm afraid I fell asleep for 20 mins in the middle but don't think I missed too much. I am a fan of the actors but this movie really does not do them any justice. It would make a pretty good TV movie but thats about all. The story opens up with an interesting premise then drifts for 30 mins or so becoming more and more unbelievable. It is just too long, aimless and without a semblance of reality.
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Not any of the actors best.
Dillin260316 January 2009
I think that some actors really don't read the script or there agent doesn't, they just do it and hope for something to happen. I have nothing good to say about this movie. It was pointless, stupid, unrealistic ( the annoying type), did I all ready say pointless? A lot of times during this movie you just zone out with the random junk they throw in, from the world and rules of a sex club to how a counting or whatever works like. I guess when I think about it there is one good thing I can say, both actors Jackman and McGregor are decent through this film. Even though I didn't even like our "hero" of this movie. (McGregor) all are miss leading and like I said before pointless in there actions. The ending just kills me , I yelled at how stupid it was. All in all its a really, really, really, R E A L L Y stupid movie and I would not recommend anyone to watch it.
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Not great, not bad, but mostly boring
Seersha12 May 2008
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.
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Title of this movie reflects reality!
bobaslave29 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Deception...that's exactly what this movie is...very disappointing! Poor acting, bad plot, and the end is terrible. Details like how a random accountant gets a fake passport, a mind of a detective and leaves 20 million bucks in a park! Pur nonsense...i wanted to rate this 1 but i got a little entertained for the first 30min so I gave a 4!

Accountant Jonathan McQuarry (Ewan McGregor) is an auditor with little to no social life. One night while working late in a boardroom he is interrupted by a lawyer, Wyatt Bose (Hugh Jackman), who befriends him and offers him marijuana. After a long conversation, Jonathan takes the subway home where he has a brief encounter with a blond woman (Michelle Williams) while waiting on the train. Upon returning home he notices a pipe in his bedroom is leaking and leaving a stain.
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rajdoctor13 September 2008
The trailer of this movie looked interesting.

The story is about an accountant Wyatt Bose (Hugh Jackman) who meets Jonathan McQuarry (Ewan McGregor) – who in turn introduces Wyatt to a secret sex club. Wyatt falls in love with one of his acquaintances S (Michelle Williams) and gets involved in a blackmail by Jonathan who wants Wyatt to transfer a huge sum from a few bank account to Spain. Wyatt does that. Jonathan plants a bomb and kills Wyatt. I will leave the story here and not play spoilt sports.

The story starts with a psychological angle, moves to sexual contours, deceive, and blackmail. The movie moves slowly throughout, gains maximum interest in the deceiving part – holds your attention, but remaining times – it is just a usual dull affair.

Both Hugh Jackman and Ewan McGregor look great and act well. But the style of narration does not build up that interest to make a great cinema of a good story like this.

First time director Marcel Langenegger does a decent job in delivering a visually good cinema – good closeups, good acting, good music, good movements of camera – I think he has a good eye for making better movies.

I think there is a problem with the scripting of the movie. It takes the first 40 minutes to build the story, and gives 10 minutes of interest and falls back to a mundane thriller.

My rating started from 4.5 at the beginning of the movie, increased to 6.5 when it reached the deceive part, but pulmetted down to 5 by the end of the movie.

(Star 4.75 out of 10)
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You'll be thoroughly entertained! as long as you don't expect to much.
Adam00011 May 2008
Its not perfect by no means, the script has much to be desired and at times the acting was unconvincing. But when I went into the Cinema I wasn't expecting anything mind-blowing, in fact I wasn't expecting anything at all. Surprisingly I didn't seam to find the movie overly predictable, however at times its dramatically far fetched. Notably the complete stupidity of a shooting occurring in broad day light in a busy European city going unnoticed. All this being said, the movie is entertaining. I wasn't at any moment particularly board with its rather slow beginning moving on to a fast paces final hour. Surprisingly Ewan McGregor seamed to portray the role fairly well with the exception of a few noticeable accent slips. Michelle Williams on the other hand has much to be desired. In no way am I suggesting she's a great actress but I was surprised at how unconvincingly she portrays a rather simple role. Its definitely a mixed bag, where on one hand its very engaging and on the other it has obvious flaws. I recommend it, you'll be thoroughly entertained but try not going in the theatre expecting to much.
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Doomed to be forgotten
drylungvocalmartyr19 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The thriller is one of the genres I enjoy most so I give it a chance every time a promising one appears on the horizon. And Deception had promise: Ewan McGregor, Hugh Jackman, and Michelle Williams, actors I think highly of; Dante Spinotti, brilliant cinematographer of Heat and LA Confidential; and a story of anonymous sex, a secret list and white-collar crime.

Unfortunately, Deception turned out to be a film of unfulfilled promises. The script lacks the least bit of originality, if you've seen a thriller or two, you'll figure out the "twists" in no time. Even the film's title reeks of zero imagination, it simply gives away the one thing that should be kept hidden until the second half of the movie. Not to mention the various hints that enable even the less imaginative moviegoers to see the turns of the story from miles away. This is not how you make a thriller that should keep you guessing what will happen next… It's quite frustrating to watch a scene (the money transfer to Spain) and think "oh, this is when I'm supposed to be holding my breath for Ewan to succeed! But hey, something's wrong, I don't give a damn!" It is clearly a sign that the movie does not work.

The only saving grace of the film is the cinematography and there are a couple of good scenes between McGregor and Williams but they only make Deception barely watchable and cannot save it from its fate: complete oblivion.
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Why would they make this
tv00bjp25 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Was looking for some decent after the bad '21' (how did that get to number 1 anywhere) and thought that this looked interesting from the trailer and since it had Hugh and Ewan i thought why not give it a shot. I couldn't have been more wrong.

like we haven't seen the idea already in 'derailed' etc. Poor acting, poor script, clunky plot which didn't leave anybody guessing at all and still felt the need to spell out what was going on in big letters! rubbish. went to watch based on the two leads thinking they'd at least guarantee a decent film. very very very disappointed.

The story was contrived and so unrealistic as to be laughable and during the first half hour or so there was actual laughs in the cinema. No tension since we didn't care about any of the characters, even Ewan was unlikable!
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A basic instinct not quite dressed to kill
Chris_Docker27 April 2008
Have you ever longed for a bit more excitement in your life? Many of us have. Especially, it seems, introverted and slightly nerdy Jonathan McQuarry, an audit manager played by Ewan McGregor.

McGregor is a high flyer, checking the books for top Wall Street firms. There's only one problem. He doesn't have a life. Zero social world, and near zero sexual escapades to look back with his mates. Assuming he had any. Which he doesn't. Accountants are wary of him for the few weeks when he looks at their figures. And to everyone else he's just a temporary fixture.

Until smoothly tailored Wyatt Bose breezes onto the scene. A spliff, a game of tennis, and an accidental swapping of mobile phone handsets puts McQuarry in line for more sex, deception and perilous living than Little Red Riding Hood in heat checking out the bear pit.

In the opening scene, McQuarry is alone in a majestic Manhattan skyscraper, only the cleaners in the background (behind glass doors). The camera traverses the splendid skylines. All is framed to perfection, both visually and to establish the characters and storyline. So when the plot moves into Basic Instinct territory, you are not surprised to see lovers pictured in postcard perfection. Standing in the rain. Or having is sex in those geometrically interesting positions. And lighting that just happens to show off their lovely skin tones and delicately arranged shadows.

Director of photography Dante Spinotti (The Insider, L.A. Confidential, Heat) uses a high-tech Panavision Genesis digital video camera for the night scenes, capturing colours and detail in a way where film falls short. "The Genesis has a much stronger sensitivity," Spinotti explains, "so it can read in the shadows much more than film does." I spent much time admiring the photography. It was more interesting than the story. Shifting dodgy funds about electronically is hardly visceral viewing. So we have a mysterious sex-club that McQuarry stumbles into. He meets high-profile women whose lives are too busy for relationships.

Queue meaningless sex. No names. No work talk. The initiator, male or female, pays the hotel. The only important words being, "Are you free tonight?" McQuarry is emotionally attracted in one encounter – against the rules. Her name begins with S. She's blonde, leggy, and played by Michelle Willliams (Brokeback Mountain, She's Not There). Soon the games begin, and you won't be surprised to learn they include blackmail and large amounts of moola.

To give Deception its due, the intrigue does develop in ways I hadn't expected. I just wish I could have cared enough about the characters to ignore the plot holes and lack of any real depth or substance. As a thriller, a piece of soft porn, or a character study, Deception is room temperature. Luscious visuals are poor compensation for a contrived and unengrossing story. It passes the time well enough and makes a competent debut feature for director Marcel Langenegger, but Spinotti needs worthier projects and McGregor and Williams need to show that they are serious about acting.

Some of the best lines used the f-word – so well suited to McGregor's well-modulated and slightly posh voice (when he can maybe seem almost like a more buff version of the very proper Hugh Grant). He sadly he doesn't get to say them, but his co-stars do.

Deception makes for a pleasantly titillating hour and a half but, much like a drunken one-night stand, it would be silly to take it too seriously.
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This film is so dull and predictable it makes you wait for a superb twist...that doesn't come!
fallyhag7 September 2008
Lots of stars so it must be good, right? Wrong!!! From the very start you already know what is going on. The story is so lazy you have seen it all before. But nobody told the director coz he was carrying on like he was fooling us with a clever story leading up to a historic twist...well if you don't guess it then please stop watching movies predictable!!! I was convinced that coz I was guessing everything right I was being fooled by a master director tricking me into wrong conclusions. Even near the end I was convinced that there was going to be an amazing ending and I was going to feel fooled but really was predictable garbage that was being told in a very slow and annoying dull!!! I saved my watching for the DVD release...I wish I had never bothered. Keep away from this film!!! 3 out of 10 just for conning the stars into participating.
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Jackman and McGregor, in the least gripping thriller ever.
Red_Flag8 June 2008
Ahh Jackman what have they done to you. It's a wonder how such talented actors were tempted by such a weak and uninteresting plot. Deception manages to combine a novel premise with one of the lousiest executions in history and in that sense only ever manages to succeed in one area. That's its stellar and often unused cast. Brilliant as they might be even the actors cannot excuse this joke of a movie being as bad as it is especially when I had high hopes for it.

Truth is the only thing that is deceiving about this garbage is its sophisticated trailer promising a well crafted and gripping thriller only what we get is completely the opposite. Lacking in potential to make you want to stay until the closing credits and to be perfectly honest I nearly walked out. But surely if it's as poor as I described i would have awarded it a more "unwatchable " review. And yet with all of its flaws and mishaps Deception does get something right, well for 20 minutes at least it manages to capture a minor bit of interest.

A disconnected accountant finds his mundane life injected with a new sense of urgency after striking up a friendship with a charismatic attorney in director Marcel Langenegger's sexually charged action thriller.

Jonathan (Ewan McGregor) is an accountant who has lost his passion in life. When his powerful new lawyer friend, Wyatt (Hugh Jackman), introduces Jonathan to a salacious underground sex club called The List, the the dejected accountant soon believes he has found the woman of his dreams (Michelle Williams). His newfound happiness takes a turn for the worse, however, when Jonathan is named the prime suspect in the woman's disappearance as well as the theft of 20 million dollars.

Early on, there is an element of aspiration lifestyle envy about it all, as if fancy clothes and well-designed surroundings really do make a life, if not at least the making of a good watch commercial. Once the twists start twisting, the film loses any sense of genuine human behavior and becomes a slave to its own chunky plotting. The movie that took a moment to name-check the German artist Gerhard Richter (and even pause to admire one of his paintings) gets left by the wayside.

Once it gets up to speed, the various tricks and complications of the movie, written by Mark Bomback, are so baldly cherry-picked from other films that it half seems as if Deception is meant as some kind of Sexy Movie parody to go in line with the recent Epic, Date and Scary entries.

My Final Verdict? Avoid at all costs. Deception takes its place among the outing of 2008 that were so dull and uninteresting that its almost impossible not to walk out. If you're interested in such erotic thrillers however your best of seeing the massively overrated Original Sin starring Antonio Banderas. As for Deception your best of leaving this one otherwise you'll just be regretting your decision the Moring after.
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For those who don't regularly watch films with twist endings all other will be struck with disbelief
dbborroughs26 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Accountant Ewan McGregor meets attorney Hugh Jackman and quickly gets in over his head. (I'm not going to say more since much of the film hinges on some late in the game twists) This should work. The cast is there. the film looks good (if unremarkable) but its incredibly dull. Who are these people and why should we care. Its clear from the instant the film starts that Jackman is up to something and that McGregor is in trouble. the problem is you just don't care. I didn't. And whats worse is that once the film starts to play out its twist-which is unbelievable and not possible (as few that use this twist are)- I was sitting there incredulous. I won't go into it but I I couldn't believe they were serious (especially since what happens isn't physically possible)
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A Nutshell Review: Deception
DICK STEEL6 July 2008
The big joke making its rounds here about this movie was in its promotional poster for this part of the world. Perhaps to the West, Maggie Q would be just the chick from MI:3 and didn't warrant top billing, or a photograph in its poster. Here, we have a badly pasted "extra" face of hers plastered on the poster, supposedly banking on her popularity with Asians. Only that as it turned out, she only has 5 minutes worth of screen time, appearing in black lacy lingerie, and doing nothing. If that's the case, then Natasha Hendrige should also be included in the poster, since she's famous for showing off her body in the Species movies, and continues to do so here to remind everyone she hasn't really lost it yet.

While Hancock has been proved not guilty of putting everything in the trailer that you can write a review out of it, the same cannot be said of Deception, no matter how its title sounded like in trying to throw you off track. It is exactly as it is played out in the 2 odd minutes of it, so if you were to want and try to enjoy this, do not watch any of its trailer nor its stills. It really ruined it outright, stripping away all surprises in store. And while Hancock kept important stuff under wraps to bring about heightened pleasure when all get revealed, Deception's "surprise" was like a limp premature ejaculation which didn't make much sense, and insults the audience.

But that's not to say that it was bad all the way. The premise had potential, and if you're going into it blind, then there are enough to intrigue you, especially when it comes to the turn. Ewan McGregor slicks back his hair and puts on glasses to give himself the stereotypical bookish accountant look, in a firm to audit their books. As with all audits, keeping lonely late night vigils is a norm as everyone in the firm you're auditing automatically shun you, for fear of getting questioned. His Jonathan McQuarry cuts a pitiable figure that most of us in the corporate world will probably understand.

In comes a highly sociable, humorous, and charismatic legal counsel of the firm, Wyatt Bose (played by Hugh Jackman, who also serves as producer), and the two hit it off over a late night filled with jokes and the sharing of pot in a conference room, before getting so chummy with each other, that going to strip clubs to chill out seemed perfectly OK. In a careless accident, they switch cell phones, and before you know it, Jonathan gets all excited over the prospect of milking Wyatt's exclusive high society sex club membership, where members call each other up anonymously through the service, and asks a seemingly innocent question "Are you free tonight?".

Sure there are rules to Sex Club, such as no names, no details, no casual chit-chats, just the caller booking a room at the hotel, and the callee turning up as arranged to get their respective rocks off. I'm sure by now plenty of ah-peks would be interested to watch the movie already, but its M18 rating ensured that everything put on screen isn't hardcore stuff. I won't be surprised too if something of this nature already exists, serving a rich clientèle who spend 90% of their waking hours in the office, leaving no time for anything else. Think of it as a matchmaking service that goes into that bit of extra.

Complicating matters of course is when Jonathan falls genuinely in love with one of the members called S (Michelle Williams), whom he met outside of the club at a train station. Being totally smitten with her, he refuses to do the deed, and breaks almost all the rules. Then begin the cat and mouse mind games, which of course would have worked, but the last act just became convenience after convenience, that made it eventually a very lazy piece of storytelling.

Deception tried, but didn't try hard enough. It had great foreplay, adequate skills, but no stamina to last the distance. Strictly for fans of McGregor and Jackman only, and of course those who still want to check Maggie Q out in lingerie, or to admire that Hendsridge still has it in her.
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Pretty much exactly what you would expect
Lando_Hass24 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I just watched Deception, and again, I really wasn't expecting that much from it. In fact, I really wasn't expecting anything in particular; I had absolutely no expectations for this movie. I didn't think it looked terrible, good, or average. I just thought it'd be worth a watch. And, overall, I thought it was worth a watch, but not much else. It's a good movie to see if you're bored one night and decide to just see whatever.

One reason I was kind of intrigued by it was because I had this weird feeling that it might be an interesting movie kind of like The Prestige, even though the only connection these movies have is that they both star Hugh Jackman, and they both involve Hugh Jackman and another guy going up against each other. Obviously, it's nothing like that, but whatever. I figured the movie would at least be really thrilling and I thought it would have some really unpredictable twists and turns along the way. Honestly though, there's not really a single thing in this movie thats surprising. Not once did I say to myself as I was watching it, "Wow, I didn't expect that." Because I pretty much did expect everything. That's not to say it's a bad movie. It's pretty entertaining, but it's just not as good as it could have been.

Ewan McGregor plays kind of a nerdy, shy accountant who one night meets Hugh Jackman's character (Wyatt Bose), a suave, kind of wild Wall Street-type guy who's pretty much the complete opposite of McGregor. Through a series of events, McGregor's character ends up with Jackman's cellphone, and he receives a call from a woman who asks him if he's free for the night. He meets the woman, and through another series of events, he gets caught up in this sex club where he calls random women in Bose's phone, getting together with them to screw them. The rule is that there's not supposed to really be any conversation, not getting-to-know-each other, and they're not supposed to know each other's names. They just get together for one reason only: To screw each other.

Of course, Bose is not who he seems to be. There's something about him, and you already know that right off the bat. Eventually, McGregor's character meets up with a woman (her name's never given, it just starts with an S) that he falls in love with and cares for. Of course, things start to unravel, and Bose reveals that there's more to him than what he puts out.

The sad thing is that you know what every character is going to do. You know what twists the movie is going to take, and you pretty much know how it's going to end. You know every step the movie's going to take, and because of that, it's not exactly thrilling or suspenseful. Bose's motive for doing what he's doing isn't predictable, but it just leaves you with a feeling of "That's it?" You expect there to be much more to the story and to Bose's motives, but there really isn't. It's like, it's not horrible, it's not good, it just leaves you thinking, "That's alright, but that's it?"

Of course, the movie's full of sex...which means it's full of nudity. A bunch of gorgeous, hot women get naked for the camera, and it's pretty damn sexy. Just thought I'd point that out.

The movie was entertaining, and it was made pretty well, but it could've been a lot cooler. It was really well made, the actors were good, Hugh Jackman's character was the villain, but he was really likable, they could've made it more suspenseful and they could've put some better twists in there, but whatever. I enjoyed it enough. But you're pretty much gonna see every single twist and turn a mile away if you go see it. Regardless of that, it's still a nice, solid movie. But eh. Go judge for yourself.

Score: 7 out of 10.
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barely agreeable but with a ludicrous ending
antoniotierno25 September 2008
The thing is that the plot takes too many turns, so many that the movie ties itself in knots and must resort to a lot of silliness to develop a finale and get out of the whole mess. The early moments are quite involving, showing the nerd-player friendship taking to something scary. Nevertheless, in spite of the good beginning, I figure the two leads have never the chemistry that would explain why they got drawn to one - another, so moments where the viewer would say "OK, everything seems to work" are very rare. The story gets then ridiculous in the end due to many plot twist that poop a film otherwise decent. There's also a cameo of Charlotte Rampling.
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