Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
DECEPTION (2008). Director: Marcel Langenegger.
"Are you free tonight?"
A somewhat shy and nerdy accountant named Jonathan (Ewan McGregor) is befriended by the more outgoing Wyatt (Hugh Jackman), who gets him onto a list of people who indulge in causal sex with no names mentioned and no questions asked. Jonathan falls for one of the ladies (Michelle Williams) he meets through this group, and finds that she is being used in a nefarious scheme by one of the other players. I won't say any more than that about the plot, but it has a couple of predictable twists and one that is completely unpredictable and extremely clever. Unfortunately, Langenegger is no Hitchcock, and while the film has gloss it hasn't much style and not quite enough suspense. The ending is completely ridiculous. A bigger problem is that the cast [at least when you compare them to Hitchcock's more notable players] is distinctly minor-league. Admittedly Jackman isn't herein playing a dynamic character like Wolverine, but he only seems adequate as the supposedly more charismatic Wyatt. Likewise, McGregor and Williams are competent but little more. The original ice princess Charlotte Rampling has a small role as one of the women Jonathan hooks up with and is -- surprisingly -- fine in a role that suits her.
Verdict: A passable diversion with some good scenes, but watch the 1946 Deception instead. **1/2.