doesn't just kill them, he takes their lives"
Agent Ileana Scott
FBI profiler Illeana Scott (Jolie) is asked to assist on a
suspected serial killer case that is baffling the Montreal police. She concludes
that the killer is not just killing his victims but he is taking their lives
and has been doing so for nearly twenty years. Thanks to witness John Costa
(Hawke) they now have a workable sketch of their suspect but it looks like
Costa has gained the killer's attention and he has been targeted as his
Since David Fincher's Se7en was released in 1995, every single
serial killer movie has been drained of originality like the murderer's
hapless victims. Taking Lives is no exception.
While the profile of the killer might change from film to
film, the look of each movie stays the same, especially the opening credits.
Taking Lives does have some twists and turns but the revelations are predictable
with only the ending adding an acceptable piece of originality. Everything
else just amalgamates into the dearth of creativity that is plaguing the
The real travesty is that the filmmakers have gathered together
a good cast but the script just doesn't challenge their talents in the slightest.
Angelina Jolie is seems like she is on autopilot throughout the film. Besides
from looking stunning as usual she is called on to do nothing else but look
concerned on occasion and do her obligatory semi-naked love scene. Hopefully
she will learn from these bad career choices and move on to better things,
as she is a talented actress.
Ethan Hawk doesn't fair any better with a character that might
be a change from his usual persona but he just doesn't have the screen present
to pull it off. Olivier Martinez is criminally underused as a character
that is little more than argumentative background filler. Tchéky Karyo is
Hollywood's French actor who is always called upon when a Gallic man of
authority is needed. (Shame he is actually Turkish). As for Kiefer Sutherland,
the man is relegated to little more than a cameo. This is the biggest murder
of the entire film.
For a serial killer movie, Taking Lives is strangely devoid
of murders. Yes there are some post-mortem moments but you only ever see
the killer complete his pattern once and that is in a flashback. The film
is just far too average and predictable to entertain. As soon as the credits
roll you'd have forgotten everything you've just watched or you'll be wanting
Presented in 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen with a Dolby Digital
5.1 soundtrack, this is a good transfer. The dark subject matter is reflected
in a very sharp picture that accentuates Angelina Jolie's beauty. The sound
quality is also good, with the dialogue been very clear through, as you
want with a film like this.
Crime Lab: A Taking Lives Documentary (21.15 mins)
Split into four parts entitled "The Art of Collaboration", "Profiling a
Director", "Bodies of Evidence" and "Puzzle within a Puzzle", director DJ
Caruso, producers Mark Canton and Bernie Goldman, editor Anne V. Coates
and stars Angelina Jolie, Ethan Hawk, Olivier Martinez, Tchéky Karyo, Jean-Hughes
Anglade and Gena Rowlands take you behind the scenes of Taking Lives. The
cast and crew discuss the script and the amount of research that went into
it. The actors then talk about their characters and the preparation they
undertook to play the role. The featurette reveals a lot about the film,
its stars and the director but there is an awful lot of backslapping throughout.
Gag Reel (2.47 mins)
A montage of gaffs, mistakes and the cast cracking up seems oddly out of
place for a film of this type.
Theatrical Trailer (2.20 mins)
Watch the trailer used to preview the movie at cinemas.
Troy trailer (1.29 mins)
Watch a preview for the Brad Pitt starrer, Troy
Warner Bros. has done an average job with the DVD transfer
of a very average thriller. The documentary is fine but it does contain
far too much backslapping by the end. The lack of deleted scenes and a commentary
is a bit of a let down however as it would have improved the value and been
a real bonus to fans.
The Bone Collector
The Usher Home
| Hush, Hush... | The
Big Story | The Usher Speaks
@ Home | Coming Soon | Links
| Contact the Usher