Monday, June 16, 2008


I go out of my way to watch most Diane Lane films, at least since she reached the age of 40. No more Cotton Club for her. Most of the dramas or romantic comedies she's in are raised to a decent level by her performances. Very true in this case as well.

Lane plays a beautiful (but not afraid to show her age) FBI detective who specializes in cyberspace crimes. She and her crew try to track down a serial killer who kills his victims slowly but surely on the internet, and the more people who log onto the website and watch, the faster they die.

There is gruesome detail in the killing. These scenes are not for the faint-of-heart. However, there's a certain panache in how it's done, very cleverly, as the killer utilizes his computer and mechanical skills in enticing watchers.

This kind of filmic approach brings up the question: would people watch? Oh, hell, yes. I hate the sound of that, the finality. The internet has changed everything, and not just for the good.

Diane Lane is steely, determined, computer-smart in this well-written drama. The movie is tagged as a Silence of the Lambs for the internet, but I think a comparison to Seven is closer. It's not as well done, not as well written, and a bit too formulaic to be ground-breaking in this arena, but it's still damn good.

If it weren't for the ending, which I could see from a cinematic mile away, the movie would have been even better. But we knew there would be a showdown, didn't we? How our detective didn't see that one coming.... well, blame the screenwriter.

Good acting by Lane and Billy Burke, the other detective assigned to the case, as well as Colin Hanks who plays her computer assistant, really lift this drama and give it its emotional base. This one's a real thriller.

Thumb's up.


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