Friday, September 02, 2005

The Constant Gardener (**)

A disappointing follow-up to the brilliant City of God for director Fernado Meirelles. This is a thriller that is too "smart" to actually thrill anyone. Pretentious, overly long, and unacceptably slow-paced, I found this to be one uninvolving movie right from the start. The plot is deceptively complex, but it's actually a story that's been told better before. There's a government conspiracy, big pharmaceutical companies involved, and Rachel Weisz plays a mystery woman, whose mystery isn't all that hard to figure out. There's also an ill-advised amount of handheld camera work. Unlike The Bourne Supremacy, which uses the handheld technique to create real excitement, the camera work in The Constant Gardener merely annoys and distracts. Further, some scenes are lit with a green hue for no apparent reason. There's a dinner scene with Ralph Fiennes and Bill Nighy that looks like something out of The Matrix. The critics have been kind to this movie so far. I don't see it. Way overpraised.


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