Friday, June 27, 2008
"He's hacked into my car's computer!"
So exclaims Diane Lane's character in the thriller Untraceable. I had heard all kinds of awful things about this film in the weeks around it's release, but I was surprised at how watchable it turned out to be. No doubt director Gregory Hoblit should get the credit for that after nice turns with Primal Fear and Frequency. Hoblit tried to class things up with a boring film Fracture that boasted the acting chops of Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling. He (Hoblit) feels much more comfortable here with semi-implausible-land and a certain lack of decorum. Untraceable could've gone a different way and made this a sleazy whodunit that could creep into cult land, but instead you get a middling thriller.
Lane is on the case as Jane Marsh who is in the FBI cybercrimes division. Teamed with partner Griffin Dowd (Collin Hanks in all his post pubescent dorkiness) they mostly deal with losers who steal credit card info before stumbling onto a site where a cat is brutally killed live. Marsh wants to get the sonabitch on general principle, but the game is soon changed when the cat is replaced by a man. Enter Det. Box (Billy Burke - a Hoblit fav) as the Portland cop trying to find the missing man. The victim is being streamed live online where the more hits the site gets, the faster the man will die. The public start eating this shit up and the man soon dies. Will the cyberteam catch the killer or will the killer catch them? Probably both in a movie like this.
I have to agree with a writer from the AVclub in that this film would have been better served if the bad guy's identity was kept to the very end. And you also get that Untraceable was gonna get a little dirty with Lane's character spending a lot of time with the Detective. Random nudity from Diane Lane could only help differentiate between the rest of the ho-drum thrillers of this ilk.
A lot of talk was also given to the implausability of the plot... well duh it is a movie. Most of the twists require the same suspension of disbelief that you had to have to enjoy prior Hoblit films. What the film lacked was that complete go for the throat attitude that could have made this a perennial watch. Instead you get an average thriller that has a crush on the Saw films. Not as bad as you think... they should put that quote on the DVD box.