Mild piffle masquerading as a thriller
- Red Lights review by RP
Poor Cillian Murphy. Here he is, a good actor sandwiched between two better actors, Sigourney Weaver and Robert De Nero. And he gets beaten up as well, but he does get to have the last word in a supposed 'twist' at the end. And once you've been told by a friend (as I was) "There's a great twist at the end" you'll find the 'twist' so obvious that it isn't great at all, but obvious - and very, very silly. Ooops - now I've done it :(
Like the tired football cliché, this is a game of two halves - first half good, second half poor. The (silly) story goes like this: Weaver and Murphy play two academics who play, ever so seriously, at debunking psychic fraudsters. Then Weaver - who by this time has fleshed out her character quite well - dies, leaving Murphy to carry the second half of the film alone. Except he's not alone, he's on screen with renowned psychic De Niro - who as we know has a powerful on-screen presence and over acts (as always, these days). So Murphy comes off second best - until the very end.
Apart from the silly story, I'm not aware of any reputable British university that has two whole departments devoted to so-called parapsychology, nor that offer lectures in psychic fraud, nor any British demand for sell-out theatre tickets for on-stage psychic shows - but maybe it's different in the US, or Canada + Spain, where this was filmed. The whole backstory seemed unreal and I just didn't feel comfortable accepting it.
I last saw Sigourney Weaver in the naive and simplistic 'Avatar' where she played a determined scientist. Here she plays a determined scientist. I last saw Robert De Niro in the pretty average 'Limitless', where his role is best summed up by the name of his character, Carl Van Loon. Here he plays Simon Silver, a psychic. Now, if he were a real psychic perhaps he'd be able to pick roles that enhance his excellent reputation rather than reducing it.
Having said all that, the film does have a certain atmosphere, it's slightly spooky (but no real scares, shocks or thrills) and I quite enjoyed it - but it's pretty average stuff. See it if you want to be entertained by some mild piffle masquerading as a thriller. 3/5 stars.
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful.
- Red Lights review by TB
I found this film rather mediocre and, in, parts, rather boring although Sigourney Weaver is excellent, in my opinion. The so called twist at the end, was expected and although I'm a great fan of De Niro, I found his performance unmemorable and poor.
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.