Apparently it's not all tuxedos and vodka martinis, shaken not stirred, in the alleged real-world of the British intelligence. Ewan McGregor plays "The Eye" a high-tech voyeur who is about as charismatic as a piece of lawn furniture. But it's not about that. The Eye's job, as the name implies, is about surveillance: A responsibility that requires him to detach himself from the rest of the world and watch it through an electronic eye. Yet it is this very act that has caused his greatest grief and most regrets in life. He blames himself for the loss of his wife and daughter. Now they appear to him in hallucinations.
The Eye's current assignment is to follow Joanna Eris (Ashley Judd), a woman accused of blackmailing a British official. But she is far more than a simple blackmailer. She is a crafty, seductive spider woman, capable of killing as quickly as she can seduce. As The Eye continues to watch Eris, he becomes entranced by her disguises and cunning charm. Soon he begins to feel that they are kindred spirits.
Director Stephan Elliott, whose directing credits include The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, attempts to be very artistic with this film. There are lots of interesting angles, lots of symbolism, and some tricky sequences which segue from a television image of a scene into the scene itself, but it's not enough to compensate for a script that literally goes all over the map, slowly. Slowly is the key to all of this. The film is so drawn-out that you will probably be checking your watch. A lot.
Ashley Judd turns in an average performance as the seductive mistress of disguises but there really isn't much to the character. Yes she has a background, yes she emotes her psychological setbacks, but there really isn't much groundbreaking to the character or to her performance. Likewise, Jason Priestley is just a joke - a comic relief in the middle of a boring, go nowhere flick. K.D. Lang comes up with an equally uninteresting performance. McGregor does a good job with his obsessive-compulsive character but again, it's not anything to write home about.
In fact, when the credits rolled, the entire theater replied with a resoundingly quizzical, "Huh?" I was left wondering just what Elliott was attempting with this nonsensical rambling mess. It tried to be psychological, it came across as confusing. It tried to be mysterious, it came across as random. It's like watching a movie in a different language without subtitles. You can sort of figure out what is going on, but for the most part, you're lost.
Behold, the power of cheese.