When the killer is finally revealed, at the end of this murder mystery, one character remarks “that’s beautiful, that’s fucking poetry”. I could’nt think of two less appropriate terms for what’s on offer. The dènoument, if one is prepared to call it that, could have just as easily been from one of those snide Hollywood parodies that crawl out periodically – ‘and then I remembered how you said that your mother had a run down chemist shop where you could take anything you wanted without being noticed’. The end of the film provides a flimsy surprise, built as it is on clues that were absent from the film, but in truth the only surprising thing about the film is how Halle Berry and Bruce Willis were convinced to take part. Are they down on their respective luck? Was blackmail involved?
Like most truly awful films, there are a lot of ingredients bouncing around that, in themselves, could have produced an interesting film. We have new and aged chestnuts like private vs public morality, internet dating, and stalking married with the evils of corporate America, sex abuse, and feminism. All are treated flippantly in a story that’s punctuated with improbabilities, patches, and clunky lines that you have the horrible feeling were produced somewhere by a self-satisfied committee.
Halle Berry plays a top journalist who, at the start of the story has one of her stories spiked by a cowering editor (she uncovers the homosexuality of a family values senator). A powerful man protected by powerful men – that’s the feminism checkbox ticked. While licking her wounds, an old friend who is involved with a powerful advertising executive, played by Bruce Willis, turns up murdered. Berry, with the aid of her obligatory sinister-nerdy-geek friend, decides to investigate. So far, so predictable, and so it goes.
If you’re thinking of going to see this, or renting if on one of those occasions when there’s nothing else in the video store – don’t.