Ewan McGregor, George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey
Lyn: There’s a story that Wong Wa Foo, the great Chinese martial artist, was in a fight with a guy and was beating him. The guy gave him this light…tap. Wong looked at him, the guy just nodded…and that was it. He’d given him the death touch. Wong died.
Bob: Then and there?
Lyn: No…about 18 years later. That’s the thing about the Dim Mak, you never know when it’s gonna take effect.
A journalist, Bob (McGregor), stumbles onto a story about a secret U.S. military operation to create super soldiers with various psychic powers. Bob accompanies Lyn (Clooney), a former member of the secret military project, on a supposed mission into Iraq.
This movie had a lot of potential that it never quite realizes. It seems like a premise that should have been handed to the Coen Brothers to write and direct. Heck, with Clooney and Bridges in it, it’s already a step towards being one of their movies anyway.
I suppose the performances are generally good, and there are some well done comedic moments, but the overall energy level is severely lacking, especially at the end. It’s almost as if they weren’t sure how to end the movie, and they just let it fizzle out.
Clooney’s bizarre stories about the secret psychic program were probably the highlight of the film, especially all his very serious talk about how he was a Jedi. There’s added comedy in that, considering he was talking to McGregor who played one of the greatest Jedis in Star Wars lore, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
This is one of those cases where the trailer for the movie is funnier than the movie itself. They pack all the goofier bits into that preview, and it ends up seeming like a high energy, zany comedy. When spread out over an hour and a half, though, the energy is lost, and we’re left with a plodding story with no real solid narrative or direction.
If I hated this movie, I would make some lame joke about remote viewing and how you should stay very remote from any viewing of this film. But, I didn’t hate it. I simply thought it was just okay. Not good enough to get too PSYCHed about. Get it? Psyched…like psychic…like in the mov- never mind, it’s funny. I’m funny. You know it’s true.
Apparently there is no statute of limitations on the Dim Mak (aka Death Touch).
10 – 2 for lack of energy – 1 for weak storytelling – 1 for sparse comedy = 6.0