A review of  Angel Eyes” by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: **

Rating: R for language, mild violence

Run Time: 1 hour, 44 minutes

 

Everyone needs to find their own way.  That’s the new age cliché that’s hammered home in this relentlessly clichéd romantic thriller starring is-she-a-diva-or-not Jennifer Lopez.

Is it a stroke of luck?  A twist of fate?  Or perhaps the hackneyed scripting of a bad writer, whose previous screenplay experience includes such pen-to-paper classics as “Executive Search”? (I’ve never heard of it, either). Whatever the motivation, Jennifer Lopez has to suffer through it all in the name of $10 million a picture.  Lopez is Sharon Pogue, a tough Chicago cop who possesses a hair-trigger temper and a big gun.  When Pogue is nearly killed in a drive-by shooting, a mysterious stranger comes to her rescue.  The stranger goes by the beguiling moniker of Catch (Jim Caviezel), and is appropriately dark and mysterious.  An attractive trait at the flirtation stage, but kind of a drag when you’re taking it to the next step. In between stints wandering the streets doing good deeds, and inexplicably picking up a stranger’s trumpet to play professional level blues, Catch falls for Pogue, but his one-word name and blank past stand in the way of true love. 

On the charitable side, amnesia can be a charming narrative device.  The cosmic forces behind the meeting hint at heavenly spirits and perhaps a guardian angel.  When the truth of this psychological-thriller-meets- metaphysical-romance is finally revealed, it’s a lot less interesting than the surreal build-up. There are issues, keeping the principals from finding their way. Caviezel, one of my best-of-2000 hunks and so charismatic in “Frequency”, plays his mystery man like he’s perpetually stoned and contemplating a career in serial killing.  The cat-and-mouse romance could have been sexy, but the chemistry is stalled by clunky scripting and awkward social pauses.  Spousal abuse subplot (her family) goes nowhere, as do several dangling plot threads (his family) not worth mentioning.  Best of show is Lopez, who is genuinely talented.  Knockout face and body aside, the girl’s got acting chops – emoting with her eyes and startlingly confident body language. Style is pure summer gloss, not a bad thing considering there’s nothing else to do but look.