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STEPHEN'S MOVIE GUIDE

Perfect Stranger  rating

Review: written 2007

Yawn inducing

With star-wattage this high, you could reasonably have expected this movie to glow a lot brighter. As it is, it is a tired mess that harks back to far superior similar `thrillers' from the `90's.

Halle Berry has a friend who is killed in an unusual way, just after confiding to Berry she was meeting and potentially blackmailing Bruce Willis, a married high flying executive with an eye for the ladies.

Halle Berry, being an investigative journalist, pulls in her friend Giovanni Ribisi ( the best thing in the movie, and the only true acting with any ambiguity attached) to go under cover. Or under the covers, might be more appropriate. She poses online to meet him in his preferred chatroom, and as a temp in his office seducing him to get close enough to find out what she needs to know.

Needless to say, twists and turns follow. Let's just say right off - watching people type instant messages to each other is NOT exciting. And if you are expecting some frisson of sexual tension or action on screen, you are also likely to be hugely disappointed. Although advertised as an erotic thriller, the action is all of the internet kind and any supposed tension in the story is of the whodunit variety rather than whodunwho... and it's a good thing Willis and Berry don't get down and dirty, with the appalling lack of chemistry they appear to have, and lack of conviction in their roles they exude.

Ribisi is the only successful wild card in the proceedings that leaves us in any doubt as to the outcome. That ending may be a supposed twist, but lacks the credibility to be satisfying, as the facts all jump out at the end like a cheap trick in a funhouse, rather than thought provoking moment that puts pieces together strewn through the movie, in the way a better scripted effort might have achieved.

Disappointing.





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