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Deception (5/10)

by Tony Medley

If this had been shown to Irving Thalberg, head of production at MGM in the ‘20s and ‘30s, he would have rejected it and told director Marc Langenegger and writer Mark Bomback, “Despite a good start, you can do better. Go back and get rid of the obvious plot holes. Don’t make protagonist Jonathan McQuarry (Ewan McGregor) so naïve and stupid throughout the movie but have him come up like Matthew Bourne at the end. And, speaking of the ending, change it completely. As it is, it destroys what you have built before.”

I couldn’t have said it better, Irving. While doing an audit at a lawfirm Jonathan is befriended by Wyatt Bose (Hugh Jackman). When Wyatt is called to London on business, he leaves his cell phone behind and Jonathan mistakenly picks it up, thinking it to be his. Suddenly Jonathan is aswirl in a sex club and things plummet for him after he falls for one of the girls, S (Michelle Williams). Then Wyatt turns out not to be what he appears (surprise, surprise!).

Well anyone can see what’s coming, but McGregor and Jackman, especially Jackman, give good performances, and the cinematography (Dante Spinotti) creates appropriate tension. Spinotti, incidentally, also appears in the film. The film isn’t worthy of what Jackman, McGregor, and Spinotti contributed.

I was actually enjoying this until about 2/3 of the way through, when it looks as if Langenegger and Bomback just wanted to get it over with. It reminded me of a Mamet film, pretty good for awhile, but nobody knew how to end it.

I agree with Irving. The ending is not only unsatisfying, it is worse than ludicrous.