Taking Lives

Bomb Rating: 

It's bad enough that I'm supposed to accept the human circus that is Angelina Jolie as an FBI agent with special deductive powers. What's worse is asking me to believe her "problem" of not being able to find a decent man, a cinematic stretch that made me want to run down to the local modeling agency and picket them for crimes against humanity.

Illeana (Jolie) gets called to Montreal to consult on a string of gruesome murders that sing "serial killer" louder than Jeffrey Dahmer in a piano bar. Faces are bashed in, hands are cut off, and suddenly copies of "Seven" are missing from every Blockbuster in Canada. Naturally, local law enforcement, namely Paquette (Oliver Martinez), isn't too happy having a woman from south of the border poking around.

Fortunately, an art dealer named Costa (Ethan Hawke) sees the serial killer and draws the cops a nice picture. At that point, the movie becomes a race between Illeana's desire to throw the killer in prison and her desire to throw Costa into her own personal prison of hot, sweaty lovemaking.

Unfortunately, I cannot reveal who wins this particular race because it would ruin the film for anybody unfortunate enough to see it. Much like "Twisted" a few weeks ago, this is a film with a limited number of possible killers, which means that whomever the filmmaker insists on painting as the murderer, assuredly isn't, and figuring out the "surprise" ending is about as hard as taking one of coach Jim Harrick Jr.'s "basketball strategy" exams at the University of Georgia.

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