January 10th, 2004

Movie Review: Paycheck

Just got back from the late show of Paycheck. Thoughts from me:

I don’t hate Ben Affleck, I just don’t think he’s a very good actor. He does alright. I’m one of the few people I know that liked Daredevil.

I have seen some John Woo movies, but not enough to recognize his visual signatures, so I didn’t go into it with a whole lot of preconceived notions on how it should be.

I expected it to be Minority Report Lite. To a certain extent, it was.

I liked it. A fun action movie with enough turns to keep it interesting. Any time there’s a movie set in the future, I can work up a pretty good dispension of disbelief, so I wasn’t bothered with the impossibility of the technology. Ben plays a reverse engineer – someone who takes technology that other people have come up with and takes it apart to find out how they made it, then makes new (and hopefully better) stuff out of it. Because his jobs are so sensitive, he gets his memory wiped after each one, so he loses two months of his life, but he gains a pretty big paycheck out of the deal.

He gets offered the biggest paycheck of his life from a friend of his, but there’s a catch – the memory wipe will erase three years of his life. For $92 million, Ben figures he’ll do it.

Jump to the memory wipe. Ben goes to pick up his paycheck and finds out he’s not only turned down the money, he’s also sent himself 19 personal items (a paperclip, some hairspray, some ball bearings, etc.). At this point, intrigue ensues.

Uma Thurman plays the object of his affection for the three years he’s working on the project. After the memory wipe, of course, he doesn’t remember her, but she helps him all the same, and they seem to get along just fine.

This is definitely a sci-fi flick, but not enough that an action movie fan would be put off by it. There’s one big motorcycle/car chase scene, but it won’t make you stand up and yell “Woo!” Hey…it just hit me: John Woo is a famous action movie director….when you see an exciting action movie, you feel the urge to yell “Woo!”…it all makes sense to me now…

I really enjoyed this movie. I will most likely watch the DVD when it comes out, and that’s more than I can say for some other movies…

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