Taking Lives (2004)

Posted: April 21, 2011 in Hollywood
Tags: , , , , , ,

Taking Lives


The film starts in the early 1980s. Young Martin Asher took a bus for Canada. He meets another teen on the bus Matt Soulsby.  When the bus broke they decided to rent a car and drive to Seattle. On the road the car gets a flat tire,and Matt starts changing the tire Martin comments on how he and Matt are about the same height and he quickly pushes Matt in the way of an oncoming truck causing a huge accident where Matt and the driver both die. He took Matt’s guitar and left singing like Matt did. Twenty years later,a FBI profiler,Illeana Scott comes to Canada to help hunting down a serial killer Martin Asher who killed multiple men and lived by their identities. Martin’s mother claims that she saw Martin in Montreal and she tells the police that Martin is evil. The police also has an eyewitness James Costa who saw Asher kill his last victim…  –IMDb


D.J. Caruso


Michael Pye (novel), Jon Bokenkamp (screen story)

If you have seen a ridiculous amount of thriller movies and have seen all the twists and turns before (which unfortunately I have), then this movie is very predictable which is the worst thing a thriller can be, predictable…but if you haven’t, it is worth a look and you may even be surprised. The prime suspect who turns out to be just another of the killer’s many victims; and the double twist resolution which really isn’t all that hard to see coming twenty minutes or so into the movie. It was still a decent thriller because it never bores you, and the ‘scissors-scene’ at the end made my view towards the movie a little better. You’ll know what I’m talking about after you watch the movie.

I believe the casting for this movie was as close to perfect as they were going to get. Angelina Jolie stars as FBI Agent Illeana Scott. Illeana has both strengths and weaknesses,which are both done in the right way. I think she’s a terrific actress and she does the best here with a lousy script. She’s very convincing and just a treat to watch on screen. If only the rest of the film was as good. It starts off decently enough with a very scary opening. Then it takes a familiar path and everything becomes by the numbers. There was actually one twist that I told you above that did take me by surprise. It’s just too bad that the rest of the film couldn’t be like that. Ethan Hawke delivers good performance but sometimes he’s just not convincing enough. Oliver Martinez, Tcheky Karyo, Jean-Hugh Anglade are effective as the supporting characters but they lack screen time and development because most of the focus is on Jolie. Gena Rowlands and Keefer Sutherland are also on hand to lend their talents, but since their roles are fairly miniscule, they don’t have much of a chance to display their talent as actors.

Still of Ethan Hawke and Kiefer Sutherland in Taking Lives

There’s a little action including a chase that’s well executed but the movie could’ve used more of it. If there was more suspense, action, character development, and a different twist besides the one they went with the film then it wouldn’t have have been that bad. Taking Lives starts off decent but after a while it becomes kind of obvious who the killer is and after the reveal there’s no more suspense. Overall despite it’s flaws Taking Lives is an okay thriller with a little suspense, action, and solid performances by the cast who make this movie worth watching at least once but after it’s over you can’t help but feel a little disappointed.

After all that said, it’s worth a watch for Angelina Jolie but let me warn you if you’ve guessed the killer early in the movie then your guess is most probably right. I give it 2 out of 5 and that 2 is all the way for Angelina Jolie.


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