“ Genre: Crime & Thriller - Thriller / Theatrical Release: 1997 / Director: Richard Donner / Actors: Julia Roberts, Mel Gibson ... / DVD released 25 September, 1998 at Warner Home Video / Features of the DVD: PAL, Widescreen „
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Jerry Fletcher, New York taxi driver and all round paranoid oddball. An obsessive conspiracy theorist, he writes his own newsletter "Conspiracy Theory" to a subscription list of just 5, but hey economic times are tough. But suddenly Jerry finds himself caught on the radar of a covert government agency and it turns out one of his theories was true...but which one? Escaping captivity, Jerry turns to the only person he trusts (and loves) for help - Justice Department attorney Alice Sutton, who tolerates Jerry despite his slightly obsessive tendencies towards her. As the pair try to uncover the truth whilst evading the government agency hunting them, secrets are revealed that could change their lives forever. The conspiracy goes deeper than either can imagine but will they live to tell the tale?
Mel Gibson - Jerry Fletcher
Julia Roberts - Alice Sutton
Patrick Stewart - Dr. Jonas
Cylk Cozart - Agent Lowry
"Conspiracy Theory" was written by Brian Helgeland (Payback, Man on Fire, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Robin Hood) and directed by Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon 1-4, Maverick, 16 Blocks) back in 1997, and despite the fact it is now an ageing film, for me, it still holds up today as long as you ignore the antique computers and mobile phones that clearly belong in a museum. I think people will always be happy to believe that there are dark, black-ops government agencies lurking in the shadows of society operating outside of the law and plucking people off the streets in black vans to never be seen or heard from again.
"Conspiracy Theory" has a wonderful mix of humour, romance, action and thrills that make it an exciting and gripping film all the way through its 2 hour and 10 minutes viewing time which flies by and at no point do you ever feel the film is dragging. I found the script to be extremely well written with some brilliant dialogue and despite the rather outrageous storyline it actually felt very plausible by the end of it all with no glaring plot holes that often plague such twisting films that try to be too clever. It started out with a very tongue-in-cheek feel to it by quickly characterising the rather quirky Jerry Fletcher with the completely insane conspiracies he would impart to his unsuspecting cab fares backed up with a rather jovial soundtrack, but it isn't long before the film takes a more sinister turn and you realise it will not be as straightforward as it first appeared. It is a brilliantly twisting and turning film that has layers upon layers of revelations that ultimately create more questions than answers as they lead you deeper into the mystery with the elusive truth always just out of your reach, unless of course you're particularly talented in detective work.
All the humour in this film was derived from Jerry himself and his character is a brilliant creation. Mel Gibson plays him superbly as the clearly damaged and often vulnerable oddball, but as a character that is extremely likeable with his endearing awkwardness when interacting with Alice and rather manic delivery style when talking. His resourcefulness in trying to evade the ever dangerous government agents is a wonder to behold and often very humorous and you cannot help but love his character despite him being completely nuts. Jerry's character is effectively the crux of the film so was the most important character to get right, and I cannot imagine anyone other than Mel Gibson playing him after seeing the movie as he portrays him perfectly.
Julia Roberts is an actress I sit on the fence about - in my opinion she needs the right role in order to put in a good performance as in some roles I have found her a little wooden and one dimensional, but the role of Alice Sutton was a complex one, and I found Roberts' performance to be excellent in this film. Alice is also a slightly damaged character suffering greatly due to the murder of her father, and while she is a strong, intelligent female character in a tough job in a man's world she also has an emotional vulnerability to her that Roberts effortlessly instils into the role that also makes Alice's character just as likeable as Jerry's and the chemistry between the two really makes the film work. In my opinion, some of Roberts' finest work. It was a smart move on the writer's part to make her part of the Justice Department and therefore used to investigating crimes as this made her fearless involvement in trying to uncover the conspiracy all the more believable.
I don't think it should spoil all that much in saying that Patrick Stewart was excellent as the shady and sinister Dr. Jonas as the film makes no effort to disguise the fact that he has an unsavoury character, but due to the nature of the twists and turns you are never really sure if he is completely a bad guy or not, and Stewart is brilliant in keeping his character suave and believable and making you doubt everything you thought you knew. Cylk Cozart as Agent Lowry was another character thrown in to muddy the waters, and whilst he has a much more supporting role, Cozart was also very good in his role as again motives are unclear and the mystery mounts with his actions.
So, despite there being some very funny moments caused by Jerry's oddness there are actually some dark and thrilling moments in this film. There is a particularly nasty scene where Jerry is kidnapped involving some strobe lighting and disturbing imagery which was totally unexpected with the light-hearted nature of the film preceding it which gave a terrific shock factor and instantly made you re-evaluate what to expect from this film. From this point onwards the film took off and became a non-stop ride of excitement as the danger levels intensified and it became impossible to relax for even a second as you just couldn't envisage what could possibly happen next. Yet, even though the film had taken a dark turn by this point and effectively turned into a thriller, the light-hearted tone of the film still remained around Jerry and the way he interacted with people which gave the film an interesting balance.
This film was further softened by the romantic moments between Jerry and Alice, mostly on Jerry's side and there were quite a few really sweet scenes in this film which added even more depth to this film. The score of the film also enhanced these different elements to the film, with some fun original jazzy pieces composed by Carter Burwell showcasing the more humorous moments of the film and some more dramatic orchestral pieces adding to the suspense and drama of the darker moments of the film as well as, and I felt the soundtrack was used sparingly and only for these necessary effects so certainly did not take over the film. The soundtrack also had a penchant for "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" which fit into the jazzy mood of the more upbeat moments of the film.
Even though I mentioned before I didn't feel like there were any plot holes there were a few scenes that felt a little bit of a stretch from reality, or at the very least making the public out to be blind idiots with such scenes as black helicopters lowering black clad men down on zip wires on public streets before seamlessly mingling with the general public, or Jerry getting nabbed on the streets with a bag thrust over his head and bundled into a black van with not a single person seemingly noticing what was going on. I know black is good for stealthy activities, but it definitely doesn't make you invisible, but really these are the only niggles I had with the overall plausibility of the film.
The cleverness of the script meant that the real events shrouded by the conspiracy Jerry and Alice are caught up in could have gone one of two ways, but I for one was very satisfied with the route the film decided to take towards the rather explosive climax, as the other alternative would have been quite disappointing and for me would have destroyed the essence of the film so I felt all the good work throughout the film in building up the deceit and mystery was upheld by a very worthy ending. "Conspiracy Theory" is still one of my favourite films 14 years on as I just love the balance between action, humour and romance and really enjoyed the twisting nature of the plot to a very satisfying ending. I think there is enough in this film for most people, but probably would be recommended most to mystery and thriller lovers.
As is typical with films from many years gone by, the Special Features don't really count for all that much:
Cast & Crew - a list of Biographies and Filmographies of the cast Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, Patrick Stewart and Cylk Cozart and the crew Brian Helgeland, Joel Silver and Richard Donner - all of which would be much more convenient to just look up on the internet now.
On Conspiracy Theories - a short quote from Richard Donner explaining how people like to believe in malignant forces at work to rage against. Er...why?
About the Production - a little piece explaining the conceptualisation of the film and how it took holding Julia Roberts hostage before she agreed to star in the movie. Some interesting insights but it takes about 20 seconds to read.
Creating Jerry Fletcher's World - a little piece discussing the many difficulties faced in setting the scenes including flooding Times Square with water and closing Queensboro bridge for 7 hours. Again a few interesting insights here, but very short.
Reel Recommendations - just a quick list of other films related to the cast and director Richard Donner.
I thought the marketing campaign sold the film pretty well: "New York cab driver and conspiracy buff Jerry Fletcher knows about the secret movers, shakers and assassins who really control things." Because of such, I predicted Conspiracy Theory being a non-too-original, but at least fast-paced and entertaining, cat 'n' mouse thriller.
The film opens with a great scene involving Gibson spouting off various crazy (and not-so-crazy) ideas to his customers, driving his cab throughout the city. Unfortunately, Conspiracy Theory quickly gets bogged down by its sluggish pacing, superfluous characters and very anti-climatic ending.
These problems all seem to stem from the screenplay and director Richard Donner's handling of the project. The raw material does appear intriguing, but when Conspiracy Theory decides to take the "Hollywood-star-must-find-a-Hollywood-love" route then the film becomes ultimately unconvincing.
One day Jerry discovers that one of his theories is true and is kidnapped and tortured by a government psychiatrist (Patrick Stewart). But as the story evolves, we find out that Jerry has an obsession with a Justice Department agent named Alice (Julia Roberts), whom he apparently fell in love with after saving from a mugging. Alice gets dragged into helping Jerry, and the two begin to share various moments developing their relationship together, most notably starring into one another's eyes for several seconds at a time, in a number of very contrived scenes.
Gibson's character does have some great lines ("The Vietnam War was fought over a bet that Howard Hughes lost to Aristotle Onassis"), though because the film prefers to focus on the onscreen relationship between Gibson and Roberts, the interesting elements that were touched upon in the early stages of the film are left neglected, resulting in an undeveloped and unsatisfying storyline.
Donner's action scenes are also disappointing, especially considering that he has the much-respected Lethal Weapon (also starring Gibson) already on his CV. Furthermore, the various attempts at incorporating comedy amidst the political conspiracy that we are supposed to be taking seriously just come across as silly and unfunny.
As far as performances go, Gibson does his best to keep things interesting, and Roberts always seems to be a radiant performer without particularly trying; Stewart also adds a much-needed shot of adrenaline to the picture. But it's the uneasy mix of romance and comedy with politics and action that makes Conspiracy Theory a pretty tedious and forgettable affair, overall.
A comedy romance action thriller starting Mel Gibson in the lead role and co starring Julie Roberts and Patrick Stewart. The film was released in the Uk on the 29 August 1997 and won a 1998 ASCAP award for Top box office films and Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts and Patrick Stewart all won Block Buster entertainment awards for favourite actor - suspense. The film was directed by Richard Donner and written by Brian Helgeland.
Jerry Fletcher (Mel Gibson) is an odd conspiracy theory nut who is obsessed with justice department attorney Alice Sutton (Julie Roberts) a woman he adores from afar. He has conspiracy theories for everything, from aliens to political assassinations. But soon, one of his theories finds itself to be accurate. The mysterious and creepy Dr. Jones (Patrick Stewart) and his men pursue Jerry and want to silence him, He persuade Alice that all is not right and before they no it both their lives are in danger. There is a common link between Jerry, Alice and Dr. Jones but what is it? As the mystery unfolds in reveals the truth and make for an explosive action movie.
Starring two of my favorite actors, Mel and Julia I had to watch this movie. It's really very good and offers you a bit of everything and does a good job in each area. You get loads of action, it's funny, romance, mystery and suspense, so what more can you asked for? The move has a strong cast and Mel does a good job as the quirky and odd Jerry and you can't help but root for our hero. Julie Roberts again is perfect at making you like her whole wholesome girl next door image. This film keeps you amused from start to finish with funny dialogue and action and will keep you riveted to your seat till the end.
I just stumbled across this one day at my friends house and I had to go out and but it myself.
Mel Gibson plays a paranoid conspiracy theorist who is clearly a little unhinged. Wether it's the moon landing or flu vaccine mind control you can guarantee he has taken each theory to the next level of craziness.
Julia Roberts is the woman he loves, almost obsesses over. To her he's just a harmless little crazy man so she doesn't mind him hanging around so much.
Then one day he's kidnapped by government agents and tortured. it turns out one of his theories was true. It's up to him to uncover the truth along with the help of unwitting accomplice Julia Roberts and we are delved into a past that somehow connects Gibson and Roberts to a government conspiracy that only they can take down.
I found this film hilarious. It's like a lighter version of lethal weapon that combines action and drama with the perfect degree of comedy
If you were a fan of the lethal weapon series you will love this. Films like these make me remember why I loved Gibson in the first place.
"A good conspiracy is unprovable. I mean, if you can prove it, it means they screwed up somewhere along the line. "
Released in 1997, Conspiracy Theory is a paranoia-driven action-thriller starring Mel Gibson as Jerry Fletcher, a mentally-unstable but seemingly harmless taxi driver with an obsession with conspiracy theories, spouting them endlessly to anyone who will listen as he goes about his daily life and occupying a tiny apartment covered from wall to wall with newspaper clippings and notes as he tries to make sense of the paranoid fantasies that dominate his existence.
Jerry becomes obsessed with Alice Sutton (Julia Roberts), an officer within the DA who is herself trying to solve the murder of her father some years ago, and though she rejects his advances she takes pity on him, and develops an affection towards him.
Jerry continues to pursue his conspiracy fantasies, and ends up being captured and tortured by a sinister and mysterious CIA agent (Patrick Stewart in an unexpected but much-appreciated bad-guy role). He escapes and ends up on the run with Julia, as the pair try to piece together what is really going on and just how deluded Jerry really is.....
Conspiracy Theory is a well-concieved and engaging thriller with some top central performaces and an intriguing fast-moving plot, along with plenty of action that helps provent proceedings from ever becoming stale. Some of the torture scenes, too, whilst not all that graphic, are nevertheless pretty intense, and the film does a good job of portraying the mind of a psychotic individual, much as in the classic Tim Robbins film Jacobs Ladder. Gibson puts in his familiar "damaged-goods hero that ends up getting tortured at length" performace, but despite being forumaic his character works, and the film is both convincing and exciting. A great modern thriller that's definitely worth a watch.
You could conceivably say, that Mel Gibson's career is built on playing characters with a dubious grip on sanity. So when the part of Jerry Fletcher, a paranoid taxi driver who sees conspiracies everywhere came along, I don't think Mel had to do too much research. It's actually yet another collaboration between Lethal Weapon Star and Director, Mel Gibson and Richard Donner. Conspiracy Theory was perfectly timed for the X Files generation, an audience well versed in the ways of conspiracies and secret governments.
Jerry Fletcher is a New York cabbie, as I have already mentioned, one whose grasp on sanity is weaker than most. He is obsessed with conspiracies, and sees them everywhere. He publishes his thoughts in a newsletter and tries to convince Justice Department lawyer, Alice Sutton, that they are true.
He also nurses a rather unhealthy infatuation with Alice and can often be found outside her apartment behind a pair of binoculars. However Jerry touches a nerve with one of his outlandish theories and soon he is on the run from the mysterious Doctor Jonas and his men, with a reluctant Alice Sutton in tow.
The 2.35:1 anamorphic picture is clear although it is a little soft at times. As a recent film there is no sign of print damage or the like. The picture has a gritty dark look with a wet autumnal New York creating an oppressive atmosphere. The movie carries a strobe light warning if you are that way inclined, and it is used in a drug interrogation scene to good effect.
Conspiracy Theory comes with a DD 5.1 English soundtrack with subtitles in English and Arabic. The surround is put to good use, establishing the ambience of the film and again is effective during the interrogation. Mel's character mumbles to himself a fair bit and can be indistinct.
The music is good and sets a jaunty tone for the film, but has an ominous tinge when necessary.
Extras are minimal on this bare bones release from Warner Bros. You get some recommendations for other movies, basically text and images. There are some cast and crew filmographies, 10 lines of text on conspiracy theories, some more text on the production and a little text section on Creating Jerry Fletcher's world.
Conspiracy Theory is the perfect example of a good film let down by the final act. Mel Gibson has had considerable experience playing men on the edge, but here his performance as Jerry Fletcher is very good. Jerry appears to be your average guy, with some real psychological problems, and Mel explores his mental anguish and self-torture quite well. Rather than being the likeable psycho that we have come to expect, Jerry is shown to be genuinely obsessive, and even a little unsavoury in his stalking of Alice Sutton. He is also someone who is utterly controlled by his obsessions and clearly realises this, yet is unable to do anything about this.
Able support comes in the form of Julia Roberts who plays Alice Sutton, who is wary but tolerant of Jerry, and gradually learns to care for him. Patrick Stewart obviously relishes playing the evil Doctor Jonas and makes him a thoroughly unscrupulous villain. Cylk Cozart is entertaining as the long-suffering FBI Agent Lowry.
The cast is excellent and the characters are carefully and meticulously established. I found myself drawn into the story and the way that it builds the tension, twisting and turning for the first hour and half is quite engrossing. But then the last 40 minutes start and common sense is thrown out of the window.
It would have been good if the initial premise were carried through to the end of the film, that Jerry Fletcher was an ordinary guy with mental problems. But alas, Hollywood heroes can't be normal, so a ridiculous back-story is spun to account for Jerry's madness. A wholly implausible scene follows where Alice confronts Jerry over the murder of her father.
Finally the ending is another Hollywood cop-out. I won't repeat it here, but you get the feeling that the ending was changed to suit the typical Hollywood test audience. By now I felt the film should have ended 20 minutes ago, so terrible was the final act. To sum up, Conspiracy Theory starts well, builds up the tension and is entertaining and exciting, then the ending sucks.
Mel Gibson portrays a an intensely paranoid man who seems mentally unstable. Enter Julia Roberts an attorney who Jerry(Mel Gibson) has decided to watch over. As the movie plays along it becomes apparent that Jerry is not as delusional as he at first seems. He was part of a government experiment that they want to keep secret and now he and Julia both must escape the bad guys.
I like the story very well. I think the concept of government corruption and experimenting on people is completely believable and keeps the movie very suspenseful. Julia Roberts delivers a perfect performance as always and completely brightens up the screen.
This movie is a must not only for Julia Roberts and Mel Gibson fans but anyone who likes a good drama with real suspense. This movies delivers plenty of action and will keep you interested throughout the entire movie. I highly recommend seeing this.
Director: Richard Donner
Producers: Richard Donner and Joel Silver
Writer: Brian Helgeland
Stars Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, Patrick Stewart and Cylk Cozart
Released in Late 1997 this movie relied on the many conspiracy theories that were circling the globe to create a dramatic thriller of a movie.
New York cab driver Jerry Fletcher, (played by Mel Gibson), is a conspiracy theory nut. Unfortunately, his mentality is in question as he continues to try to convince his friend, Alice Sutton, (played by Julia Roberts), who works as an attorney in the Justice Department.
Alice spend most of her spare time trying to track down the truth about the death of her father.
Jerry believes the U.S. government are out to get him so spends his life protecting himself, padlocking everything in his flat, such as the fridge and every separate item in the fridge. Nothing in his life is left unprotected.
When Jerry is kidnapped and interrogated he realises that one of his theories must be true, but trying to convince Alice is a totally different matter.
When there are suspicious death surrounding Jerry things begin to come to light as he goes on the run from a rather evil Psychiatrist, Dr Jonas, (played by Patrick Stewart) and several government bodies.
As the movie rolls along it reveals how closely Alice is actually linked to Jerry and who their common acquaintance is.
With a great twist towards the end the story unfolds.
An action packed movie which is well acted by all, especially Mel Gibson, as the slightly insane/eccentric cab driver who believe the world is watching him, and Julia Roberts, as the career guided attorney with a soft spot for the slightly eccentric.
Jerry seems to be so paranoid he does come across as an insane individual. (even more insane than Martin Riggs in the Lethal weapon movies)
The site inside Jerry's apartment seems comical, watching as he unlocks the containers which hold his food and water, his memory battling to remember the combinations so he can eat.
Writing a movie about a conspiracy theory isn't a new idea, but this script goes beyond that as it airs many theories in the guise of Jerry's ideas, but which theory has him running for this life?
The movie runs along at a good pace and has everything that is required, such as chases, killings, explosions, romance and more chases.
With the extremely exquisite twist towards the end, regarding the connection between Alice and Jerry, the movie really does have a bit of a unique quality.
In all a good entertaining movie which will please most people, if not all.
Would I recommend this movie...?
Yes I would.
It is full of action and thrills, with a good dose of humour.
A must for Mel Gibson fans, (or even Julia Roberts fans).
Conspiracy Theory Jerry Fletcher(Mel Gibson) lives in New York he lives in a flat and keeps it all safe with locks on everything.He does this just incase the government try to kill him which they just so happen to do.The reason why you ask?.Because he writes a newsletter on conspiracy unfortunatly for him he dosen't have many subscribers.For a living he is a taxi driver. He is in love with a attorney called Alice Sutton(Julia Roberts)Aswell as being paranoid about being killed by the government he also trys to see her all the time.he watches her from his car while she jogs listning to her favourite song.He also trys to get past the guards where she works and usually manages to.She ignores him though because she thinks he is mental. Jerry does quite well at not getting noticed by the government until he stumbles onto something that they don't want him to know about.They then capture him and torture him.He escapes and ends up in hospital where they once again come but he escapes again.He keeps meeting up with Alice until the government find out and make her think he is the man that killed her dad.They eventually capture him but she finds out the truth and saves him with help from the police. She falls in love with Jerry but he dies from a gun shot after she saves him.Or so she thinks.The film ends with him being in his own little government plot where he is not really dead. The film is a little bit confusing but is very well made and is definatly worth watching trust me its my favourite film.
Every now and then you stumble across a film, purely by accident. Picked it up from your local video shop or maybe just happened to see it on television when you were flicking channels. You had never really heard of it and just start to view the film because it beats twiddling your thumbs all night long. "Conspiracy Theory" was on the television the other day and I taped it out of habit, yes I am a film nut and I just can't help it! I very nearly used the tape for the football tonight, but I didn't, call it a feeling or instinct but I just didn't. Oh how lady luck is smiling on me these days, I have just finished watching it and it is definitely one of the best action/thriller films I have seen in a long while! Anyone who has read my review's before will hopefully have noticed that I try not to give too much of the plot away. This is to enable people to see the film for themselves. Well this is going to be hard as it is one of those films with a lot of plot twists right from the start. Not only that, it is also one of those films that will really impress you the first time you see it, far more than the next. You know the ones that make you think "oh yeah, I wasn’t expecting that!". Others films that spring to mind like this are "The Shawshank Redemption" and "Sixth Sense". Anyway, enough of the waffle (sorry I was brought up on Barry Norman film reviews!) let's take a look at the film. Jerry Fletcher (Mel Gibson) is a Taxi driver in New York by day and a conspiracy theory nut by night (Oh I wonder how they came up with the title!) More often than not, Jerry combines these two things, ranting conspiracies at whichever poor soul just happens to sit in his taxi. He is so obsessed and paranoid that he scans the news papers every day, trying to find connections in order to write his "Conspiracy theory newsletter". The letter is then mailed out to a few subscribers. There is only one person that gives Jerry a chance to verbally offload his ideas, Alice Sutton (Julia Roberts) a Justice Department attorney. Alice only gives this madman her time because she feels indebted to him for rescuing her from two muggers. Little did she know, it was not by chance that he was watching her when it happened. As the story unfolds, it comes to light that Jerry's theories might not be quite so mad after all and this leads to a confrontation with Dr Jonas (Patrick Stewart), this is when things really get moving. Hopefully this will give you a small insight into the plot of the film. As I mentioned earlier, no more details will be given to avoid spoiling the story for viewers who have yet to see it! Mel Gibson is absolutely great in this film. Jerry is a bit like Gibsons character Martin Riggs from the Lethal Weapons films, except that this time Riggs has finally flipped his lid! Gibson portrays a funny, interesting, paranoid character that evokes a lot of sympathy with the audience. He really makes you want to shake him when he splutters and mumbles things, but this is well in line with the character. Totally believable, the best Gibson performance that I have ever seen even though he won Best Actor for "Tim" and "Gallipoli" from the Australian film institute (In Braveheart he was good but the accent just killed it for me in that!) Lets face it, we all (well nearly all) like Mel Gibson, he will not disappoint you with this one! Oh what a pretty woman Julia Roberts is! She can act a bit too! Roberts character "Alice", bounced off Gibsons "Jerry", like a dream. Every double act needs a straight man/woman and Roberts was superb in this role (although the great script helped a lot in this department!). She presents a caring yet business like person and presents it well. I have never really considered her a a serious actress, at least unt
il now. There is a lot of on screen chemistry between these too actors, something that really helps to draw you into the film. Patrick Stewart leaves his, one piece spandex out fit in the closet for this one. Faultless as ever I will tell you nothing about his character, other than there is more to Dr Jonas than meets the eye. Have you ever seen Stewart give a bad performance? You won't in this one either! Just incase there is a person somewhere in the world that doesn't know, Stewart is better known for his role as "Picarde" in "star Trek the next Generation", although he has been in lots of things. Directed by Richard Donner, this film has style. Donner is probably best known for the "Lethal Weapon" films and it is obvious he likes working with Mel Gibson. The action scenes are fast and furious. He moves the film along at a perfect pace as he leads you through the various twists in the storyline. You are given enough time to breathe between action scenes and I honestly can't fault him. Early on in the film there is a scene involving a wheel chair. I was not sure if this scene was meant to be dramatic or funny but as the story unfolds you can see that he combines humour, action and thrills with great skill. Brian Helgeland wrote the screenplay for this film and you might have heard his name mentioned recently, as he wrote and directed the film "Knights Tale". I am not this mans greatest fan. In fact I think he often comes up with some awful rubbish. I didn't like "Knights Tale", he also wrote that mega flop "The Postman" starring Kevin Costner."LA Confidential" was another of his efforts and although that recieved good reviews, I just didn't like that either! However, with this film he has earned a place on my Christmas card list. The script is great, the story good and I can forgive him for making me sit through all his ot
her poor efforts. Overall, I really enjoyed this film. It kept me engrossed throughout the whole 2 hours and 10 minutes. The lead characters are interesting and really well acted. The action and pace is just perfect. Another one of those films where you either see everything coming or just get hit the face with all the surprises, one after the other. For me it was the latter. I can't remember if there was much hype about it when this film came out, I certainly don't remember any. Which is a real shame because it is definitely worth a look and I expect a lot of people missed it. I doubt if I would buy it, despite all my raving about how good it is. The strength of this film comes with the surprises. Without a sudden loss of memory, I just won't appreciate it as much with a second viewing! There was a scene with a lot of flashing lights so not one for epileptics and not really one for the kids either! Anyone else, rent it out one day, you know it makes sense!
"Who have you been talking to Jerry" Patrick Stewart. "Whatta we know, if you tell me what we know, then i can tell you what we know, and if anyone else knows, i mean you've gotta be more specific" Mel Gibson. Great quote from the film. Mel Gibson plays this part so well, a really paranoid yet truthful person, who is totally and completely in love with Julia Roberts character Alice. At first she finds his presence quite irritating (as if you could find him even remotely annoying). Throughout the film she changes her thoughts about him and grows to love him. It turns out he is a test subject, being used for mind control. Turning people like him into assassins. He is sent to kill Alice's father, but he sees her and can't do it. unfortunately someone else is sent to do the job he wouldn't and he tries to protect her father but fails. So instead her father asks him to protect his daughter. He watches her inbetwen driving his cab. Like a madman at one point. He tells everyone about the government and the reasons they do everything. But the people who did the tests on him are still looking for him. When they eventually find him they interrogate him but luckily he gets away. Later he gets arrested for nicking a cops gun and is handcuffed to the bed. He comes up with a plan to get out of that and gets away. He gets caught again by the people who did tests on him and gets shot. Will he die... I won't tell you anymore as i don't want to ruin the end, only to say don't cry too much at the end. The acting is excellent from everyone. Even if you just like the actors this film is definitly worth a watch. It's comical at parts, and you just fall in love with his character. If you didn't like him before you see the film you will by the time you do.
You know your in trouble when people are trying to kill you because of secret information that you know, when you can’t even remember what the secret information that you know is. I feel like I am now struggling to find something, which is interesting to write about. So I fished through my trusty video collection. (I cant fail here, I've got the best collection known to mankind, anything from The Lost Boys to Jack The Giant Killer to Jackie Brown). Well today I decided to write about my own favourite video - Conspiracy Theory. Jerry Fletcher (Mel Gibson) lives in fear of a past he can’t remember; he spends his working hours driving a cab in New York City. Jerry constantly talks about Government conspiracies. Some people ignore him and think he is just a bit strange. Most people think he has got a screw loose. Well what would you think if you got in a cab for a quiet journey to the shops only to hear the cab driver telling you the finer points on government conspiracies? He is completely paranoid and thinks people are following him and tracking his every move. The flat, where he lives is amazing. There are locks and bolts on his door, and he even balances a bottle on the door handle when he is in. His fridge door has a lock on it and keeps his food in metal containers with locks on them. When he is at home he spend his time arranging possible conspiracy theories into files. He even types and sends out newsletters on these theories every month. Jerry is in love, hopelessly in love. He is in love with Alice Sutton (Julia Roberts) She’s a US Attorney. He goes to see Alice every day, the security guards are always trying to stop him getting to Alice's office, but he's always gets through and sees her. He has to barge into her office to see her. She is constantly telling him that he must make an appointment. Jerry argues that he can’t make an appointment because, then people will know he will be
there at that time (paranoid or what). Alice can’t understand why Jerry is constantly bugging her, the only reason she puts up with it is because she was mugged coming home from work one night, when Jerry walked out from nowhere and rescued her. At home he compulsively assembles all the information he can find on possible conspiracies. Then he takes his theories and files to Alice, the only ear he believes is sympathetic to his warnings. Undercover FBI agents disguise themselves as homeless people on the streets reading Jerry’s newsletters and watching Jerry's every move. They know he is in danger and that there is truth in some of his theories, some of these FBI agents are trying to help Jerry and other organisations are trying to kill Jerry, but Jerry doesn’t know who is on his side and who isn’t. There are people after Jerry, he doesn’t know who they are. They pull up out of nowhere, put him in the back of a car; they drug him, tape his eyes open and ask him all kinds of questions. He can’t answer any of the questions because he is so drugged up and confused he doesn’t even know what day it is. He manages to escape these people, covered in blood goes straight to Alice for help. He ends up in the hospital. The nurse makes a chart on Jerry's injuries and the medication needed and puts it at the bottom of his bed. Jerry begs Alice to switch his chart with the person in the next bed. Alice switches the charts, the next morning she finds that the person who was in the next bed is now dead. Now she believes someone is trying to kill Jerry. The FBI and CIA all try to talk to Alice about Jerry and she also wants to find out what is going on. Alice knows someone is trying to kill him but doesn’t know who it is. Jerry escapes from the hospital and hides in Alice's apartment. Together they find themselves in a desperate fight for their lives. Jerry will protect Alice with hi
s life, but why? (Sorry giving out this information will spoil the ending). This film has one of the best storylines I have ever seen. The acting is superb; it’s funny, very moving and provocative. Jerry’s past just keeps on haunting him; the problem is he can’t remember anything about it. He often has flash backs but these don’t tell him much as they are just brief and scary. The question is what was Jerry’s profession before he became a cab driver and why does his heart tell him that he needs to protect Alice. All will be revealed when you watch the film -go, go now, watch this film. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
So, it appears that Julia Roberts is an excellent actress. I haven't seen ERIN BROKOVICH (for which she won Best Actress at this year's Oscars) but I have seen a lot of her other movies, including CONSPIRACY THEORY. Although she can act, there is nothing in this movie which shows that she is deserving of such an award. All that she is given her are opportunities to flash her big smile and toss her hair. And that's about it. The other main star of the movie is Mel Gibson, who also can be a good actor when he is given the right material, but here again he's just required to look good. He plays Jerry Fletcher, who is a better-looking version of those conspiracy-theory nuts The Lone Gunmen from TV's THE X-FILES. He even publishes a newsletter detailing his theories. He gets mixed up with Alice Sutton (Roberts' character), who is the daughter of a judge who was murdered in a mysterious fashion, and together that get involved in unravelling the conspiracy. The villain of the piece, Dr. Jonas, is played by Patrick Stewart, and I must say that I love seeing this guy playing villains. He played such a goody-goody as Captain Picard in STAR TREK – THE NEXT GENERATION that I always get a bit of a thrill seeing him play this type of a character. So, my thoughts on the film as a whole? Worth a watch but it's a pity director Richard Donner didn't give all the principal actors something a little more meaty to work with.
What is it about director Richard Donner that Mel Gibson enjoys so much that he's appeared in five of Donner's films? Is it the on-set pranks? Could it be the big-budget perks and $20 million paychecks? Or is it just a well-stocked catering table? Whatever the case, the Lethal Weapon star and director teamed up again, along with fellow superstar Julia Roberts, for this typically glossy, entertaining but ultimately hokey thriller. Gibson plays New York cab driver Jerry Fletcher, whose wacky belief in conspiracies finally hits on a coincidental truth involving an evil figure named Jonas (Patrick Stewart) and a secret program of government-funded mind control. Roberts plays the Justice Department attorney who finally believes in Jerry's paranoid ramblings. With a plot (from LA Confidential co-writer Brian Helgeland) that's a lot of fun as long as you don't think about it too critically, Conspiracy Theory benefits immeasurably from the charisma of its high-magnitude stars. --Jeff Shannon