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The Watcher Review

The Watcher
Smriti Kashyap /
Can watch again
Good for kids
Good for dates
Wait to rent it
Remember that cool sequence in The Matrix where Keanu Reeves is dodging all those bullets? Well, this flick makes you wanna pump 'em all back into him and try to save him the embarrassment of being in it. Really, it's terribly cruel to expect Reeves to act. Sure, he can lead a mean bus to hell and back, but man, seeing ol' Wood Face as a serial killer is emotionally draining for both the audience and the dude himself.

The Watcher is the usual cops and killer-on-the-run stuff. David Griffin (Keanu) is a serial killer and manages to spook FBI agent Joel Campbell (James Spader) into a comatose state of retirement. Campbell is now in Chicago, trying to flee from the dark shadows of his past in San Francisco. And he's showing all the symptoms of a bummed out cop - viz. living in a dank filthy apartment (which one could mistake for a landfill if it weren't for a guy sitting in the midst of the muck), popping pills from all sides of the Atlantic and generally staying down in the doldrums.

The only person Campbell is seeing is his shrink Polly (Marisa Tomei). But then he's pretty cuckoo about not being able to solve the serial killer David Griffin case. Then one day, out of the garbage fumes comes a picture in the mail addressed to Campbell from David - the challenge is to find the girl in the picture before 9 o'clock. If he doesn't, then the girl dies. This is, of course, after being charmed out of her petticoat by our own Mr. Reeves who then gets a huge kick by strangling the victim with piano wire.

I can't decide which is more nauseating, the whole corny challenge or watching Keanu dance... nooooooooooo, not after The Matrix. And alors this whole Tom and Jerry thing continues and we all salivate gratefully into our popcorn as a sad knee jerk reaction to this trauma.

Anyways, the flick continues and the director tries too hard to be Hitchcock. He's a llama trying to be Jar Jar man, not going to happen. Joe Charbanic makes a wheezing attempt to make the film come across like a film noir, and I could almost see the crew grin from ear to ear. And the soundtrack contributes overwhelmingly to the overall gargoylish feel of the flick.

Keanu deserves an honorary Razzy for the 'scariest attempt at trying to look scary'. James Spader is better that way - he has a natural crocodile-in-heat look, and you certainly don't wanna toss that sandwich at him. And if you blink your eye, you're sure to miss Marisa Tomei, certainly the only one whose talent is wasted on a regular basis.

The flick is okay to swat a few irritating hours, but nothing more and nothing less.
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