Deception My Reviews 20 JUN 2008

DeceptionWhen you’re in this world, no one is who they seem, and everyone is playing the game.

Jonathan McQuarry is a highly successful accountant who audits some of the biggest names on Wall Street. However, his socially detached work position has caused him to become somewhat of a loner, living in almost complete isolation from other people. However, all that is set to change when he bumps into a man called Wyatt Bose who strikes up a late night conversation with Jonathan and goes out of his way to befriend the slightly geeky and inept accountant.

However, it is a mistaken cellphone swap that really changes Jonathan’s life. One call, one question: “Are you free tonight?”. Answer ‘no’, and the call never happened. Answer ‘yes’, and you’ve just become part of The List, basically a sex club for some of the highest ranking members of society. No names, no talking – just sex.

Jonathan becomes enchanted with this new universe and soon falls in step with the fast moving world of pleasure, that is, until he meets a girl during one of these meetings that he has met before. Realizing that perhaps he feels something more for this girl than just physical attraction, he makes an effort to get more out of her, more than the rules of The List allow.

However, just as happiness seems to have finally found him, things go horribly wrong and his world is turned completely upside down. Dragged into a world of intrigue and lies, Jonathan is soon embroiled in a plot that may very well cost him his life!

Deception is a 2008 film directed by pretty much unknown director Marcel Langenegger, written by screenwriter Mark Bomback (who was last responsible for bringing us Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard in 2007) and stars Ewan McGregor, Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams in the lead roles.

Unfortunately the first thought that comes to mind after watching Deception is “What the hell? How on earth could anyone bankroll such a predictable, clichéd movie like that in the first place?”.

And that pretty much sums the movie up. Despite having three world class actors in the lead that play their respective roles with all the necessary flair and skill to make Deception a great movie, the plot is just so hackneyed, predictable and done before that the movie just ends up falling flat on its face. Sure, the writing and dialogue are all of high quality and such, but as an end result a person simply walks away thinking that they just wasted an hour and a half of their time on a movie where each and every ‘twist’ and ‘development’ could already be predicted half a hour before! There really is no mystery or intrigue or surprises left in store for the viewer, and for a suspense thriller, this basically leaves Deception dead in the water. Honestly, this hurts the movie in such a way that a person really doesn’t derive much pleasure, let alone emotional satisfaction from it, relegating Deception straight to that proverbial bargain bin that movies so hate appearing in.

Despite Deception’s serious shortcomings as an enjoyable movie, one shouldn’t doubt the quality of performance put in by Hugh Jackman, Ewan McGregor and Michelle Williams in any way. All three of these actors are A-class actors and their performances speak volumes of their class and skill. Admittedly, it is a little hard at times to picture Ewan as a socially inept accountant, but he plays his role with a deft and unshakable hand. And while we have now become rather accustomed to seeing Hugh Jackman in his skin tight leather as the X-Men Wolverine, it is these more serious roles that truly allow him to shine his utmost, and it must be said that he does make for an excellent villain.

Visually, Deception relies on plain old good cinematography to deliver the goods and special effects are pretty much kept to a minimum. The camerawork is however solid enough and Langenegger manages to capture the lighting and the feel for all his shots with an adept hand. Ramin Djawadi provides the musical composition for the movie, and is somewhat hitting the big time in a big way, by being the mastermind behind the music for the worldwide success that is Prison Break as well as this year’s big blockbuster, Iron Man. Having previously produced the score for Mr. Brooks, a similarly themed movie, his score for Deception carries all the right tone and mood with it that is required from a big movie number.

In summary, while Deception certainly is a polished and well put together movie, featuring some great acting from some great actors, it’s extremely tired and predictable plot is its downfall as you are left with a movie without any bite to it, a particular problem if the movie in question is meant to be a suspense thriller. Unless you are completely and utterly new to movies, I would safely recommend that you leave Deception well enough alone and see if there isn’t something else a little better showing on the big screen at the moment.

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.