Monday, April 28, 2008

Butterfly On A Wheel (2007)

Directed by Mike Barker
Starring: Gerard Butler, Maria Bello, Pierce Brosnan
Grade: C -

Instead of the usual review I've chosen to show you an e-mail I sent to my friend about it. It's probably not gonna make any sense unless you've actually seen it though.
**Contains Spoilers**


After much wrestling with my BT hub (not physically - at least not yet!) I've managed to get online and write you this e-mail about 'Butterfly on a Wheel', a film that I didn't really care for - just thought I'd let you know that before I say what I didn't like about it. I'm totally in film review mode. Sorry! Lol.

Firstly, it surprised me how quickly the tone of the film changed. They hardly waited ten minutes to get the kidnap thing underway. I've been deliberating whether I liked this, but I think more intelligent films might have to tried to hint at the affair a bit more before it introduced that element. And if it did I didn't really notice. I'm not sure it's a good idea to make such a compact, energetic thriller that has a finale so dependent on the nature of the characters, and I don't like films that can't be bothered to develop its characters and then expect us to be shocked at their actions at the end.

I actually saw the whole thing coming, which is disappointing. When it became personal and not about the money there weren't really many ways the plot could have gone. It's much more engaging than I think it ever has a rite to be really, because a lot of it feels very tailored, which makes it uneven, and I've seen this kind of film done much, much better. Phone--> Empty box --> envelope --> red dress (and on that point, I'm sick of middle-class men in thrillers constantly being threatened with the murder and rape of their wife and daughter? It's so old.). And the worst of all. When he goes to the police and she's already been there. I mean, please! It seems to cover all of the "bases" but if we're going to make baseball analogies it's more a game of rounders in the park than a World Series Final. Old news.

Maria Bello, who by the way is lovely, was kinda meh. I think she just wasn't all that bothered about the film. It needed a performance like Jamie Lee Curtis' in True Lies to make it feel more raw and powerful. It felt too tame for me. Gerard Butler was slightly better... boy would I like to run into him in a dark alley! Actually, it'd be more fun if he ran into me ;-) Pierce is routine and boring - a perfect representative of the film actually (ooh, I'm catty!).

I've gotta say something about the end...

I really was SHOUTING at the screen "Don't kill that woman!". She was so much prettier than Maria Bello and surely better in bed. It would have been a shame. But yeah, when they got home I wanted to turn it off cause I knew they were gonna do that whole twist thing.

It's not a terrible film. I just think it's a bad attempt at a familiar picture, with very little incisiveness or appeal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that was a stupid review because i saw the film with 5 people and we all loved it...