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Taking Lives  rating

Review: written 2005

Unremarkable serial killer movie

This film is what it is - a by the numbers serial killer movie, that in its heart seems to think it is cleverer and more stylish than it actually is.

However, the location and the offbeat casting do make it worth watching, with some occasional successful stylistic flourishes, and at least one genuinely jump out of your set moment.

Angelina Jolie is in one of her weakest roles here - the FBI profiler with a secret past, a loner who has her own unusual methods of immersing herself into each case. This is never truly explored more than that two dimensional outline however, and Jolie seems to try very little to flesh that out.

The 'Unrated' aspect of the commonly available DVD version involves one sex scene which for once does actually integrate into the plot, but does seem a somewhat gratuitous use of Angelina’s well known attributes.

Ethan Hawke is fine but not outstanding in an initially ambiguous role, and Kiefer Sutherland is barely there in a few scenes, so don’t be fooled by his front cover billing. In fact, the scenes with him make for some of the few highlights of the movie. Olivier Martinez and the other French actors fill out thankless roles adequately.

Enjoy it, its not a terrible movie, but don’t expect surprises or any sense of enjoyment in the process of filmmaking from anyone involved.

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