By Stacy Allen
Show: Paycheck, PG-13
Stars: Ben Affleck, Uma Thurman, Aaron Eckhart
Summary: An engineer sacrifices three years of his life for a huge paycheck only to discover he has sacrificed his future as well.
Showtimes: (1:30) 4:45, 7:30, 10:00
I enjoy puzzles and Paycheck is put together like a huge puzzle. After three years of his life Jennings receives an envelope with twenty items that help him out in future situations. The fact that he easily escapes many dangerous situations with household items is far fetched, I know, but if you look past that it is very intriguing. Wouldn’t it be great if one day you found out you were a genius and could survive death by a paperclip? Obviously there are noticeable flaws and if you think about them it would kill the movie. In fact, the best thing to do, if you want to enjoy this film, is not to think hard and to embrace the action and the giant puzzle that is Paycheck.
I must say that John Woo is awesome. Usually he has great action scenes that are unique and captivating. He uses birds to symbolize good and he will have a couple of shots that obviously accentuate the good guy and the bad guy. In Paycheck you know who the good and bad guy are, and there are several action scenes. However, the action scenes are run-of-the-mill cookie-cutter action scenes. It seems like Woo got tired of being original and gave in to the public. Because of this difference this is not one of Woo’s best films and I can see why I have heard so many negative reviews regarding this film.
Another problem this movie has is its lead actor. Whenever Ben Affleck first made it big I was convinced he was a great actor. Now after he has been on the scene several years, I think Matt Damon is the one with the talent. Affleck has done some good work and there have been movies that he starred in that I enjoyed. However, I don’t think Affleck has what it takes to be the blockbuster star he is trying to be. Maybe it was Gigli that changed my mind but no matter the case I think this movie would have beend more successful had it starred a better actor.
Uma Thurman does an excellent job and somewhat makes up for Affleck’s acting. I hate watching movies and seeing the defenseless woman who does nothing. That is not the case in Paycheck. Many times Thurman does more work than Affleck and in the end she is the one that is convincing. I don’t think that this is John Woo’s best film, however I do love his directing, even in Paycheck.