Angel Eyes

Movie Review by Susannah Macklin

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, James Caviezel, Sonia Braga, Terrence Dashon Howard
Director: Luis Mandoki

Police officer Sharon Pogue lives and breathes the basics of her job. A tough cop, at home on the mean Chicago streets, she has little time or patience for personal details inside or outside of her working life. That is until the mysterious and strange Catch (James Caviezel) literally throws himself into her life and starts something that Sharon just can’t and doesn’t want to, avoid. This dark loner touches her life more than she could ever have imagined, and for once Sharon finds herself asking questions about somebody else and uses her feelings to try and search deeper into herself and reunite her broken family.

If you removed some of the language and buffed over the violence, this would truly be better suited to an adapted-from-a-Danielle-Steel-novel morning slot on daytime television! With no real rhyme or reason to it or purpose for it – you cannot help but wonder how on earth it has made its way onto the big screen!

As an emotionally put upon cop, Jennifer Lopez for once shows herself to be an actress of quite reasonable standing and James Caviezel is excellent as weird but intriguing Catch, only trouble is – everything else is pretty unexceptional. Gerald DiPego’s script has some touching elements, and director Luis Mandoki should take some credit for dragging us through some pretty tense and tear jerking scenes, but they are also badly let down by some equally ridiculous lines and moments. Highlighted not least by the soundtrack which at times plays like something from a bad eighties rom-com over cliched scenes.

The main problem with the movie, is it’s never really clear where the whole thing’s heading. Its thriller/romance premise works in part but never really makes it obvious in which camp it would rather its loyalties lay. The misleading title and opening scenes would have us believe early on that this character Catch is some sort of divine apparition but as soon as it becomes clear this isn’t the case – the story appears to lose any magic it feigned for the first half hour or so. The real tragedy of it however, is saved until last with the appalling ending, which although intended as the ultimate development in Catch’s character, unintentionally presents itself as being a little distasteful in the scheme of things.

As the tag line says ‘the deeper you look the more you will find’, though try not to look too hard, because what you will uncover here is a middling script used as a star vehicle for a mediocre actress.

2 out of 6 stars

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