Eye of the Beholder

Bomb Rating: 

This is a movie that's so incompetently formulated, so poorly executed, that if you took director Stephen ("Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert") Elliott, put him on trial, and used the film as the sole piece of evidence against him, he'd be convicted of smoking crack and jailed for the rest of his life.

The really sad thing about this fiasco is that it starts out with some small amount of promise. Basically, a British intelligence agent known as The Eye (Ewan McGregor) is tracking a female killer named Joanna Eris (Ashley Judd) and becomes infatuated with her. This is understandable since Joanna is into taking lots of baths. Unfortunately, the movie soon starts to unravel like John Goodman and Rosie O'Donnell doing a synchronized striptease. You just sit there and think: "Oh my God. Jesus, no. NO! For the love of Christ, NO!"

The first thing that makes you grimace is the weapon the Eye uses, which is a gun, a directional microphone and something else long and phallic, all wrapped together by duct tape. Then, there's the appearance of the Eye's imaginary daughter, who, even though she's imaginary, makes you wish an imaginary monster would come out and strangle her anyway. It seems that the Eye has regrets about the breakup of his marriage and loss of his daughter, so now he's seeing things. Delusion would seem a rather poor quality for a spy, but the Eye's contact (K.D. Lang) is too lazy to get up off her chair and do something about it.

I can't really put my finger on exactly what goes wrong with the film other than to suggest that Elliott may have some sort of severe personality disorder. One minute I'm watching a James Bond film and an hour later it's "Fried Green Tomatoes." This happens when the Eye goes off to Alaska to follow Joanna and sits in a diner. By this time he's gone so far over the edge you actually hope that Joanna will kill him. When it's over, you feel like you've spent the last two hours tumbling around in an industrial washing machine, which, when you think of it, would have been the better entertainment value anyway.

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