Thursday, January 24, 2008

One More Reason To See Rambo


Rated R
1 hour, 40 minutes

Group Rental ($)

One stormy night (is there any other kind?) in Portland, FBI Cyber Crimes Agent Jennifer Marsh, played by Diane Lane (Judge Dredd), is handed a sticky note with the website scribbled upon it. Checking the lead, she finds a kitten being slowly tortured via streaming video. Uncaring as the FBI is, the site is shelved until a a few days later when it streams live once again, this time with a man whose torturous death is hastened by the increasing number of visitors accessing the site. Marsh is tapped to lead the task force to track down the killer as victim after victim suffers at the hands of the populace's morbid curiosity.

Agent Marsh is joined in the cyber-manhunt by techno-savvy fellow agent Griffin Dowd, played by Colin Hanks (Orange County), and by Portland homicide detective Eric Box, played by Billy Burke (*Along Came a Spider). Together the trio prove to be the most ineffectual and inept investigators in not only Oregon, but possibly the entire planet. The script by Robert Fyvolent, Mark Brinker and Allison Burnett is the first major hurdle that sends this tale plunging flat on its face. The first act is bloated with lengthy techno jargon about how crafty the killer supposedly is. The task force, as it were, poke at keyboards, throw their hands up in geekified defeat, and then stare in a shocked stupor as the victim expires. Act I proves that the killer, who conveniently operates out of the Portland area, can effortlessly thwart the FBI's best tracking efforts and completely avoid having witnesses to the abductions.

Act II trudges forward with continued futility until a breakthrough reveals the killer's identity. In my opinion it reveals that a five-minute stretch break from the PC for the cybercops would have yielded far better results. If my years of watching TV cop shows and far superior crime thrillers have taught me anything, it is that basic detective skills, a competent profiler or even a simple Google Search could have identified the killer before the first human victim died. But what can you expect from users with MSN as their homepage?

The wooden performances could have been attributed to the vacuous script, but Lane & Co. deserve some of the credit as they plod through their lines with clueless expressions. Blame also lies with director Gregory Hoblit (Frequency) for linking meetings of the mindless detectives by a series of extended establishing shots instead of injecting thrilling moments into the film. Hoblit earns the distinction of raising dumbfounding to mind-numbing heights.

Dirty Undies
I thought the torture would at least be the saving grace of this film. There was a morbid delight watching the excruciating Saw-like contraptions extract blood and sear flesh. It was all for naught when the climax evokes a chastising tone towards the torture-porn loving ilk of our society. What is truly torturous is looking at Lane's bedraggled mug! Lane has evoked some genital stirrings in the past (Hollywoodland and Unfaithful come to mind), but here she looks like she's been ridden hard and put up wet.

The Money Shot
Watching the trailer, I just knew Untraceable was going to suck...I never imagined it would suck this much! I'd normally ease this pain by reminding myself 'at least it was free' but the minutes of my life that were stolen had to be worth more than this.

Happy Birthday Miss Lane. If scathing backlash from this putrid film was on your birthday list this week, better make more room at the gift table. Maybe next month's Jumper will prove better for you...hahahaha, I crack myself up sometimes.

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  1. This is a confirmation for me. I'm staying in this weekend.

  2. I'm sorry you went to even see this one... ouch.

    I'm about to go see There Will Be Blood, and maybe Rambo by the end of the night.

  3. @Nayana- Glad I could forewarn at least one person!

    @the fraze- They can't all be winners now can they? That's the downside of being a whore who'll watch anything.

    I've seen both TWBB and Rambo. Looking forward to your take on them both. My opinion is forthcoming.

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  5. I've seen 80 or so 2008 releases and this STILL ranks as the worst of the year!