Newest Review: ... amiss (he?s not too bright at times, our Michael) he sets to work trying to put the pieces of his new puzzle together, to figure out the m... more
PAYCHECK: Remember The Future
Member Name: zoe_page_1
Date: 17/01/04, updated on 17/01/04 (47 review reads)
Advantages: A good idea for a film
Disadvantages: It all went wrong
Alternative title: £3 and a bag of popcorn *I?ll* never see again
Paycheck was I film I really wanted to see, and so we headed off there this evening to catch it on its first day of release.
Michael Jennings is a reverse engineer ? his job is to take apart a piece of equipment and determine how it works, then use this knowledge to develop something even better. Afterwards he?s paid to forget everything he?s just done, as the people involve wipe his memory. Sounds strange but hey, it works for him. He?s happy thanks to the rather generous resulting pay-cheques (I assume this is where the title comes from, though there could be other interpretations ? something to do with checking out his pay, perhaps?). All this changes when he?s recruited to work on a long project ? it?ll take him 2-3 years instead of his usual 2 months. At first he?s apprehensive, but when he?s told the financial details there?s a ker-ching of dollar signs in his mind and he signs on. The next thing we know, the project?s over and he?s free to go. But when he turns up to collect his dollars, he finds that a month previously he relinquished control of them in return for an envelope containing 20 seemingly random items. Eventually realising something?s amiss (he?s not too bright at times, our Michael) he sets to work trying to put the pieces of his new puzzle together, to figure out the message he was trying to send himself. Along the way his attempts are thwarted not only by his former employers, but also by the FBI who are desperate to get their hands on him, and whatever invention it was he?s been working on all this time. Lots of gun battles and car chases ensue, culminating in a thrilling, and I lose the word loosly, climax.
This film had, in my mind, soooooo much potential. The story sounded intriguing and fresh, and with the cast involved it seemed like it had the goods to deliver. But somewhere along the way, something went wrong.
The film isn?t b
ig on scenery, but that isn?t in itself a problem. What it fell down on, however, where the technological aspects. Part of the wonder machine developed during the extended project requires buttons to make it work, and these looked incredibly like those clear coloured lego bricks to me. A lot of the other gadgets looked fake, many seeming like they would have been more at home on a 1980s low budget Blake 7 set than in a Hollywood blockbuster.
The screenplay was written by someone who until this point had only penned the Lara Croft sequel, which I think tells us a lot. The dialogue sounds like it was scripted for someone whose mother tongue isn?t English. Add a bad accent and it would have been perfect Van Damme stuff.
?We must go now?
?I dropped the envelope?
?I don?t remember?
It?s truly scintillating stuff. The acting, too, is a little sub standard. It?s hard to explain, but if you watch the film you?ll pick up on it immediately. Despite most of the cast being well respected names, they seem to have trouble getting any feeling into the script, and this shows. At times the delivery seemed remarkably wooden, and the movements posed rather than natural.
Uma Thurman and Ben Affleck are not normally 2 people you would associate with negative image descriptions, but whoever the stylists working on this film were, they truly managed to make them look worse than usual. She in particular spends many scenes looking like a drowned rat / weasel hybrid. And what?s with the hair, people? He looked grubby a lot of the time, but interestingly enough, when he was on the run and living in the same set of clothes for days on end he (a) seemed to have found a razor somewhere because very little stubble appeared and (b) decided that the best way to care for all the clothes you have is never to take them off, meaning he slept in his shirt and trousers too. Now really, would a little flash of bare chest really have been out of the qu
There are several ?holes? in the plot and many are obvious as you watch which makes them the worse kind ? in Runaway Jury, for example, I didn?t think about the Occult shop until afterwards, but in this film they were smacking you in the head at every turn. I don?t want to do blatant spoilers here, so I?ll just say the brain heating? And the greenhouse? And the fake girl?s eye colour? And the 2nd lottery ticket? Come on.
At the end of the day the film is just ridiculous. My neighbour and I sat there howling with laughter for the most part. It?s a predictable film in a lot of ways ? in fact the only thing that surprised us was that following the gun scenes and the high speed car chases, their was no gratuitous sex to finish it off. The story doesn?t work and the cast seem to have forgotten how to act. As we left the cinema, my friend declared that ?this one isn?t even worth downloading? ? a true sign if ever there was one that this film sucks, big time.