Ben Affleck plays Mike Jennings, a reverse engineer for hire. After each job, his memory is erased so that he loses all knowledge of the project that he just worked on. When he is hired to create a machine that can look into the future, he leaves himself clues to survive once his memory has been erased.
Ok, here we have the writer of such great films as Blade Runner and Minority Report, and the GREAT action director John Woo (MI:2, Face Off.) You’d expect getting these two guys together it’d make for an amazing film. I don’t know what the hell John Woo did during this film. Maybe he took a vacation or something, but it definitely wasn’t a Woo-ish film. It was mediocre at best, especially for an action film.
It did however play out pretty interestingly. Once you buy into the concept of the story, it becomes kinda fun to experience. The thing I love best about Philip K. Dick’s short stories is that they all take place in the future, however it never really draws attention to itself that it is in the future. So many films that are set in the future use that as a premise to base the rest of the movie around. These stories could take place really at any time in history (to a degree) and still maintain the story.
The acting of the film again is mediocre. Ben Affleck is an interesting actor. He always has this cool presence to him, yet he’s not all that great of an actor. There were a lot of parts in the film where I could see Ben Affleck on the screen instead of Mike Jennings (his character.) Uma Thurman is beginning to become one of the first female action stars (besides Lucy Lui.) I think the funniest part of this film, although it wasn’t intended, was seeing Ben Affleck wield a machine gun. For some reason it was the funniest sight I had seen in quite a long time. He was ok as Daredevil, but leave the machine guns to Arnold or Bruce.
The movie as a whole seemed to be lacking a lot of elements of a sci-fi/action/thriller, which obviously hurts its rating. But the great thing about this film is that it gets you from point A to point B quick and doesn’t leave you bored in the middle. This film fits in the calibre of current Steven Seagal films. So if you are looking for a film to sit through without using your noggin too much, this is the one for you.
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