The Watcher

"Bad"

The Watcher Review


Keanu Reeves, get thee back to The Matrix as soon as possible.

Following one of the most pitiful title sequences I've ever seen, The Watcher actually proceeds to become one of the most pitiful thrillers I've ever seen. And that takes some doing... but let me tell you how.

I give the movie half a point for its mildly eyebrow-raising premise. An L.A. serial killer (Reeves) has finally worn down the cop who was chasing him (James Spader) to the point where he can no longer function in society. The cop gives up on the chase after a dozen-plus murders go unsolved, moves to Chicago, and tries to drop out of life with his migraine medication. Only the killer tracks him down, 2,000 miles away, and tries to revive their old cat-and-mouse game, by mailing our hero a photograph of an anonymous and lovely young lady, sentencing her to die in 24 hours if the cops can't track her down. Surprise: Witness some of the worst police work in movie history as the cops can't track her down. Rinse and repeat.

Like I said, it's a semi-interesting premise once you get past the fact that Nancy Drew could put these cops to shame. But of course, it's all ruined by shoddy acting and some just-plain-God-awful filmmaking that is shameful in its incompetence. Reeves is utterly wooden, as if he is reading his lines from a TelePrompTer that's running too slow, and with nary a "Whoa" to utter. Spader is fine yet unimpressive. And Marisa Tomei -- starring as Spader's shrink and a would-be victim of the killer -- has turned positively ghoulish now that she's reached maturity. (Note: She's supposed to be one of those "lovely young ladies" I mentioned above.)

But let's get down to the worst offendor. Director Joe Charbanic (absolutely no credits on record aside from a few crappy music videos) has no business being behind a camera at all and should retire now before someone gets hurt. This is Film School 101 stuff, what with the ridiculous use of blurred-motion video footage (you see, we're looking through the killer's eyes!), the positive-negative-positive effect to make things oh-so-creepy, sudden flashes of white light, and, well, more blurred-motion video footage. My cat could puke up a better film after a diet of canned tuna and fur.

Which reminds me: As a funny footnote to The Watcher, Keanu Reeves has actually hired Charbanic to direct a music video or two for his band Dogstar (which is reportedly quite awful). My poor kitty may be spared some work after all.

The storage facility for prints of The Watcher goes up in flames.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Friday 8th September 2000

Box Office USA: $28.6M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Universal Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 10%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 80

IMDB: 5.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Joe Charbanic

Starring: as FBI Special Agent Joel Campbell, as David Allen Griffin, as Dr. Polly Beilman, as FBI Special Agent in Charge Mike Ibby, as Hollis, as Mitch, Yvonne Niami as Lisa, Jenny McShane as Diana, Gina Alexander as Sharon, Rebekah Louise Smith as Ellie, Joseph Sikora as Skater, Jill Peterson as Jessica, Michele DiMaso as Rachel, Andrew Rothenberg as Jack Fray, as Norton

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.