Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Taking Lives

This movie had two things going for it: a soundtrack by Philip Glass, one of my favorite composers, and Angelina Jolie in the lead role. Even though she may be best known for her quirky marriage to Billy Bob Thornton, her excessive number of tatoos, or her tomb raiding as Lara Croft, I think she's a terrific actress. (I'm not the only one; she has won an Oscar, some Golden Globes, and received a bunch of nominations.)

So the soundtrack was great, Jolie's acting was great, but the whole package didn't come together too well for me.  Taking Lives is about a serial killer who assumes the identities of his victims, lives as them for a period of time, then moves on to someone else.  Jolie, an investigator with the FBI, gets called in to help with a murder investigation that leads, through Jolie's brilliance, to uncovering this killer's patterns.

I am suspicious of this type of movie, that portrays the killer as a super-brilliant schemer who not only gets away with a long series of crimes, but toys with the investigators.  The killer comes close to framing one of his associates for the crimes.  Jolie, the super-smart, tough-as-nails investigator gets drawn in by the killer here and nearly ends up as a victim.  Despite its weaknesses, Taking Lives tries hard and is not a bad thriller.

Bottom line, 2 stars.

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