Saturday, December 03, 2005

"Taking Lives" review

Taking Lives (2004)

Directed by D.J. Caruso Writing credits Jon Bokenkamp

Angelina Jolie.... Illeana
Ethan Hawke.... Costa
Kiefer Sutherland.... Hart
Gena Rowlands.... Mrs. Asher
Olivier Martinez.... Paquette

A friend of mine went out to see the Hollywood premiere of "Taking Lives" at the Grauman's Chinese Theater. He was very excited to be there although he tells me a lot of the spectacle is lost on him. "I went to get my popcorn and I ran into Oliver Stone. I had no idea it was him until somebody told me." He also said, "They have this weird thing where they turn the lights off and on inside the theater for three minutes. It was very odd." But, I said, surely we can both agree that Angelina Jolie is incredibly hot. "Oh definitely," he said, "She was there and was looking good." We pretty much agreed that she was the highlight of the premiere. Celebrity-wise anyway.

I was glad he had a good time at the premiere. I was thinking of him as I sat in my tiny Florida movie theater with an old woman coughing behind me. My movie going experience and his were slightly different. I was back watching this one in the mighty Theater 4. Theater 4 is where movies go to die. I was surprised "Taking Lives" had fallen so fast. Once movies hit Theater 4, the next stop is a video store shelf.

The highlight of "Taking Lives" is, of course, Angelina Jolie. Those lips are made for kissing. If she's in a movie and she's not kissing someone, there has been a fatal error. Angelina also gets topless for a quick sex scene. Ahhhh. That was nice.

As for the rest of the movie, it was adequate, all right, average, not bad, okay, ordinary, passable, reasonable, so-so, tolerable, same ol' same ol', been there, done that, blah, blah, blah. The serial killer movie has been done to death. This was one more nail in the coffin.

So some nutbag is TAKING LIVES and Jolie has to stop him. She is supposed to be some sort of expert on serial killers. Yet they never really explain why she's so special. She stares at gory pictures and hangs out in graveyards but she doesn't really strike me as knowing any more than any other cop. Her investigation leads to more mangled corpses and some mundane chase scenes. It's all very ho hum and very predictable.

At least it had Angelina Jolie putting her lips to good use. In my book, that will always save a movie from becoming a disaster.

SCORE: 2 0ut of 4 Angelina lips

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