That one good character is Doug, played with real depth by Farrell. After a chemical war has left just two inhabitable spots on earth (Britain and Australia), Doug is working as a robotics engineer and living a quiet life with his wife Lori (Beckinsale). But he keeps dreaming about running for his life with another woman (Biel), so he heads to a Rekall memory-implant centre to clear his mind. Of course he instead opens a can of worms, discovering that he's not who he thinks he is. But what's the truth? And who's side he really working for - the totalitarian chancellor (Cranston) or the violent rebel leader (Nighy)?
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Evelyn Salt (Jolie) is a skilled CIA operative devoted to both her husband (Diehl) and her country. Then a Russian spy (Olbrychski) tells her that she's actually a sleeper agent whose time has come. She denies this to her steely boss Ted (Schreiber) and hasty counter-intelligence agent Peabody (Ejiofor), but when things heat up she runs. Is she up to no good, or is she trying to stop the Russkies' evil plan? Sometimes it seems like even she isn't so sure.
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Clyde (Butler) has his happy life destroyed when a psycho (Stolte) kills his wife and daughter, but his lawyer Nick (Foxx) accepts a plea bargain that lets the killer out of jail in three years. A decade later, Clyde starts his revenge. A spot of brutal torture and murder lands him in prison, but he continues from behind bars with his violent mission to take down the legal system. It's up to Nick and a cop (Meaney) to figure out how he's doing this before he kills them too.
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While not quite a Matrix replica, writer/director Kurt Wimmer's Equilibrium duplicates too many elements from its sci-fi predecessor to ignore the comparison. The film inhabits a Huxley-inspired fascist future society where emotions are chemically suppressed. World leaders believe it helps prevent global warfare. If love and happiness are sacrificed in the process, so be it.
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Believe me, I wanted - at times frantically - to like Ultraviolet. While the plot is entirely reductive, the acting painfully amateurish, most of the special effects uniformly crummy, Ultraviolet is breathtaking to watch. At times it looks like a 3rd generation bootleg of some ultra-obscure New Wave music video (perhaps, Experimental Projects' "Glowing in the Dark" - try tracking that one down), at others like goofy outtakes from Kill BillKill Bill: Volume 1. The film rampages wildly through neon infused colors and minimal THX 1138 styled sets, Matrix stunts, and gaudily shot sentimental close-ups. The entire film is an uncanny buffet of cult culture - we've got everything from Grant Morrison to Max Headroom, Tron to the Wachowski's Doc Frankenstein comic book, Iggy Pop's abs to Cassavetes' Gloria, all stuffed into a weirdly affected plot.
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If you can relate to this heady premise, you'll love The Thomas Crown Affair. A loose remake of the 1968 Thomas Crown Affair, this version pits Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo against each other in a game of cat-and-cat. Brosnan is Thomas Crown, an uber-wealthy NYC tycoon with an art fetish. Russo is Catherine Banning, a semi-rogue insurance investigator who instantly pegs Crown as the thief when the local Monet goes missing.
Continue reading: The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) Review
None of these leads really grabbed me, but then again, neither did The Recruit. It's a glossy and well-massaged thriller, designed to give you two hours of eye candy and gently massage your brain -- but not too much! After all, a fickle mass audience might be weighing their investment against the simplicity of Kangaroo Jack.
Continue reading: The Recruit Review