Guy Pearce, Piper Perabo, William Fichtner
Deirdre: Are you hungry?
Deirdre: Good, can you make us something?
Jimmy Starks (Pearce) is a fairly cold-hearted small-time business man who stops in on a roadside fortune teller while waiting for his car to be repaired. After a few predictions, the fortune teller stops the session abruptly and asks Jimmy to leave. When the minor predictions start to come true, Jimmy returns to get a further reading. Eventually the teller admits, in a rather ambiguous way, that he thinks Jimmy doesn’t have long to live. This starts Jimmy down a road of paranoia that could destroy his relationship with Deirdre (Perabo) and lead to his eventual demise.
For about 3/4 of this movie, it at least maintained my interest and kept me guessing at where it was going, but unfortunately, all movies like this need an ending, and usually the ending disappoints. This was no exception, as the ending proved to be pretty underwhelming. Not that I wanted to see some big dramatic, or action filled, sequence, just something a little more interesting than what does happen.
It’s an interesting, but tricky, concept the movie delves into. If you know when (but not how) you’re going to die, and that whatever path you choose to take will lead you to that end, what do you do? Is it even worth trying to prevent it? Do you lock yourself up somewhere seemingly safe and hope for the best, or do you go out and take some action?
Guy Pearce does a good job of capturing the anxiety and paranoia the character is experiencing, but I could have used a little more emotion in the movie. When he starts to accept his fate and says goodbye to certain people and places for what might be the last time, it seemed more like the goodbyes somebody says when they’re headed off to college or a long vacation, not the goodbyes you say when you’re about to take that much longer journey. I know he’s trying to hide this possibility from certain people, but once they’re out of sight, I think a tear or two wouldn’t be too much to ask for.
As for the performances, pretty much all of the actors do a good job, but I especially liked J.K. Simmons’ performance as the psychic. After seeing him in Spider-Man, and other much louder roles, it was good to see him do something very toned down and realistic.
All in all, if you like a good psychological mystery movie, this one should satisfy for most of its running time, but don’t expect any kind of wow factor at the end. The ending is about as ambiguous as the psychic’s predictions.
10 – 2.4 for the underwhelming ending – 1 for lacking more emotion – .3 for underuse of Piper Perabo’s character + .4 for the performances = 6.7