Taking Lives D.J. Caruso

Taking Lives D.J. Caruso
This Angelina Jolie vehicle is a little bit Silence of the Lambs (female FBI investigator) and a little Seven (serial killer on the loose) yet amounts to nothing. For 20 years a killer has been taking lives of men in eastern Canada. He assumes his victims' identities for a spell before discarding them and assuming a new life. When the killer's mother (the great Gena Rowlands) spots him in Montreal (looking a lot like Quebec City), the FBI dispatches special investigator Illeana Scott (Jolie). She hunts for the killer with her less-than-helpful colleagues on the police force, played by Olivier Martinez, Tcheky Karyo and Jean-Hughes Anglade (who speak good Parisian French for Quebeçois cops). A painter named Costa (Ethan Hawke) is a witness to one brutal attack but also a suspect. He turns out to be Jolie's love interest, as demonstrated in a flat, so-called "steamy" love scene (humping standing up against a wall). This is the unrated director's cut? Big deal. The clichés pile up in Taking Lives faster than the bodies and the bad guy is revealed long before the ending. A great cast is wasted on a mediocre production and there's absolutely no sense of atmosphere or setting. This movie could've been set in Los Angeles or London. I suppose it was set in Montreal for the tax breaks and lower production costs. On the surface, the DVD is loaded with special features. However, the four "probing documentaries" are really 22 minutes of back-slapping amongst the stars and director offering little insight. Only an interview with editor Anne Coates reveals anything interesting about filmmaking. And for some reason there is an embarrassing gag reel. (Warner)