|As an admirer of Jennifer Lopez (when she's not playing the diva role0, I went to this film expecting a good performance and an interesting script. What I got was a great performance and a very good script. If not for Lopez, I might not have been interested in seeing this film. The previews didn't give the film an edge over the other summer releases coming out at the same time, so I actually waited until the movie had been open for a week before seeing the film. Although i expected there to be some sort of supernatural element (which there's not), that small element didn't deter from the fact that the lead stars, Jennifer Lopez and James Caviezel give great performances.|
But that's not to say the film isn't a little sappy, like the critics have said. It's true, this is definitely not a movie to go to if you're expecting some stuff to get blown up. There are a few good action sequences, but they're not really the point of the movie. But that's good. The action scenes don't take over the film, but having a few in there creates some good conflict. It should be said though that the advertising campaign for this film was a little deceptive. I went to the film expecting a story that had some sort of supernatural element to it, but there was none to be found. It was strange too, because even while watching the movie, i was expecting something Sixth Sense-like to happen. But the film resolved itself through reality instead. Not that this was a big bother though, because when all is said and done, the movie really didn't need a supernatural element.
The good performances of the actors took care of that void. Lopez is a surprisingly versatile actor, having acted in multiple genres of film, like her performances in Selena and Out of Sight. And in Angel Eyes, Lopez delivers again with a very powerful performance as "Sharon Pogue," a woman dealing with being an outcast in her family and disowned by her father. The cast accompanying Lopez is very good as well and makes a somewhat done-over story into a movie really worth watching.
In a strange turn of events, James Caviezel's character of "catch," a very dark character who has a very dramatic presence on screen, doesn't seem to reach a resolution by the end of the film. And Sharon doesn't seem to reach a resolution either. Their characters fall in love in the movie but their problems are not gone by the end of the film. They both find a small amount peace with their respective families, but not so that these characters can "drive off into the sunset" with one another.
On another note, the production designer for this film was a very creative presence. Dean Tavoularis, who also worked on The Ninth Gate had a very interesting style that was a strong element throughout this film. Nearly every scene has a strong element of green to it. And we're not talking just a few glass ornaments. Except for the bar scenes, almost every wall is painted green. An interesting color choice given that green is a color that is supposed to inspire hunger. Why not pick blue (that symbolizes peace) or yellow (that symbolizes madness)? The dark green covering so many surfaces gave the film a dark, almost European look.
And the furniture in the scenes was also European in nature. There were a lot of dark colors and dark wooden pieces in every scene.Adding to this very interesting visual style was the peculiar way the story was filmed. There were many "POV" (point of view) shots throughout the film that filmmakers probably used to give the audience a first-person perspective into the feelings of the tortured characters. Many shots were also skewed to the right and left (like an mtv-cam shot), presenting the audience with an alternate view of reality that complemented the story nicely.
In conclusion, Angel Eyes really has nothing to do with the supernatural, like the previews would have audiences believe. But this marketing deception is not really a flaw, and this movie is well served by its fine performances and a very unique production design and cinematography. This movie proves that good acting and filmmaking can turn a so-so story (though the script wasn't bad) into a very enjoyable movie.
Review by Kelsey Wyatt.