(In theaters, March 2006) I really wanted to love all of this movie; I’ll settle for liking parts of it and ignoring the rest. Writer/director Kurt Wimmer’s follow-up to the fabulous Equilibrium ends up feeling like a self-indulgent remake that has forgotten all about pacing. The opening comic-book-covers credit sequence sets a tone that, unfortunately, isn’t sustained by the failed earnestness that follows. Oh, the design is terrific, the gadgets are lovely and the action scenes are pure lightning. Sadly, the dialogues are fit to make anyone howl, and the story is instantly familiar –and not in a good way. Too bad; Milla Jovovich turns in an iconic performance… but the rest of the film around her is often too repetitive to be interesting. I really hope that Wimmer gets some solid supervision before his next project… which I’m still anticipating with some interest.
(Second viewing, On DVD, September 2006) Well, I’m not watching this film again anytime soon. Though I could recognize a number of flaws during the original theatrical viewing, another visit to the DVD edition really doesn’t enhance anything. The dialogue is still as trite as ever, and the action scenes don’t seem any better once you start picking apart their mechanics. The design does hold up, but that’s about it: The rest of the film flops aimlessly and fails to engage. Though billed as “the director’s cut”, this DVD edition adds preciously little in terms of enjoyment, and the disappointing making-of material never gets past the “huh, interesting” level. Worse yet is the sparse insight-free audio commentary by Milla Jovovich, who seems far more interested in her dog than in filling any space on the commentary. I still think it’s a better film than Aeon Flux, but let’s just say that the distance between the two is a lot smaller now.