Movie review: Taking Lives | How Mysterious! » How Mysterious!
Jan 032013

Have I mentioned that the new house comes complete with satellite and a DVR? Our neighborhood doesn’t get cable, so I “had to” move up to better tech. Well, there’s a point to my rambling: Encore Suspense, a pay channel that’s nothing but mysteries and thrillers, plus all those other pay channels that come cheap when you first subscribe to a new service, which I’ve been madly DVRing and watching anytime I want. O Joy!

This is all by way of explaining why on earth I watched an Angelina Jolie movie. Because, you know, it’s already paid for! And, as it turns out, it wasn’t half bad.

Jolie plays an FBI profiler, Illeana, called to help the Montreal police investigate a serial killer. We first meet the guy as a wispy, naive looking teenager who calmly kills a guy and steals his wallet before altering his appearance to look like his victim. Illeana and the cops (who consistently underestimate her) eventually figure out that he’s taking lives literally, but also taking over his victim’s identities and living as them before moving onto the victim. It’s an interesting premise because they can’t just look for the killer, they have to look for whomever the killer’s playing now.

There’s a romantic twist when Jolie falls for Costa, a witness played by Ethan Hawke, but of course she doesn’t act on it until the killer is caught. And then boy, does she act on it.

There are other actors you’ll recognize — Kiefer Sutherland, Gena Rowlands — but it’s really the Jolie and Hawke show. My expectations were low, and it didn’t go far beyond what you’d expect, but I liked the movie better than I thought I would. I recommend it for an evening when you feel like curling up on the sofa with a bowl of popcorn and a nice revenge-theme subplot.

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