Retro Review: Angel Eyes

Jennifer Lopez stars as Sharon Pogue, a Chicago cop who is miraculously saved by a street man named Catch (Jim Caviezel).

Sharon feels an obligation to this mysterious man who helped her stop a fleeing suspect.

Through a really awkward courtship, Catch and Sharon fall in love and begin to uncover each other’s secrets. But some secrets are best left undisturbed.

Lopez continues her starring streak and takes on a role that is similar to another famous role she has played before.

Lopez’s cop reminded me a lot of the same character she played in the much-better film, Out of Sight.

The tone, texture and attitude of this character and the one in Out of Sight are eerily similar. Lopez does a good job with this kind of character but does tend to reach her threshold in a lot of the scenes where she seems to have to force emotion out.

Where she can’t find the right emotion she uses over-acting which is an old soap opera technique. These over-acted scenes show that Lopez is still growing as an actress and that she definitely has a limited range.

An example of this is when Lopez has bitter arguments with her parents. Lopez will scream the lines and wave her hands giving the illusion of emotion but really never nailing the right depth of the scene.

As for Lopez’s leading man, I can really only clarify him as one thing, the original freeze-dried actor. Why is he freeze-dried?

Well ever since his impressive break-out performance in Thin Red Line, Caviezel has wandered through films supporting the same exact look. His stoned, derelict look has persevered and filtered into every part he has embraced.

This look refers back to the freeze-dried explanation.

They take him out of the freezer and thaw him out to play a new role with the same exact persona.

What’s kind of sad is that if he did change his look and embrace roles other than derelicts, we could have a pretty good lead actor. Caviezel can act and is often quite good. It’s just that he needs a new tone.

Aside from the two lead performances, Angel Eyes doesn’t gather any steam or embrace any strong plot. Instead it relies on a lot of small subplots masquerading as a master filled main plot. Where is the suspense?

The film reminded me a lot of the depressing Harrison Ford vehicle, Random Hearts where two very mismatched lovers try to overcome their own tragedies by trying to embrace life and love.

It was depressing and dragged on for hours. Angel Eyes is no different.

The two best scenes in the film are as follows. There is a scene where Sharon and Catch end up in a blues club. At the club, some of Catch’s lost memories are revealed and Lopez’s character begins to see a real man standing in front of her.

This whole scene was very interesting and the music was awesome. The other scene is when the coffee shop is littered with streams of bullets hitting a lot of cops.

This scene could have bolted into more suspense and been a really intense scene but the film’s splicing and shift in direction leave it abandoned. For the five minutes after the scene, it is hardly even acknowledged. Where are the repercussions of that event? Also this is the only action sequence in this moping and dreary film.

Don’t believe the hype there is no mystery or suspense in this film. It is just very dull. Nuff said.

2 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer.

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