Angel Eyes (15)

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Review byMatthew Turner21/09/2001

Two out of five stars

Running time: 121 mins

Well-acted drama that is unfortunately hampered by severe mis-marketing and a disappointing ending.

If you’ve seen any of the trailers for Angel Eyes, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in for a Sixth Sense-type film.

This, however, is not the case, although the film itself clearly toys with the idea for a good 90 minutes or so before ambling towards a resolution that makes sense within the film, but will leave audiences disappointed.

Jennifer Lopez plays Chicago cop Sharon Pogue, a tough, angry woman who refuses to let anyone get close to her. She’s also estranged from her family because, years ago, she shopped her father to the police for wife beating and now she’s threatening to do the same thing to her brother.

So, when a mysterious young man named ‘Catch’ (Jim Caveziel) saves her from an ambush, she finds herself oddly drawn to him. Is he an angel? The ghost of someone she saved long ago? Or is he also someone with a damaged past?

To be fair, the acting is excellent. Firstly, Jennifer Lopez redeems herself for the twin horrors of The Cell and The Wedding Planner and turns in a superb, tightly wound performance.

She’s the best thing in the film and fans needn’t despair, as you still get the (as now seems) obligatory shot of her in her underwear.

Caveziel is also very good, and his performance has already drawn comparisons with the work of Anthony Perkins or Montgomery Clift – a particular highlight is his scene in the jazz club.

However, what lets the film down is its insistence on having it both ways – on the one hand it is set up as a supernatural thriller (the trailer even includes a line to that effect that doesn’t appear in the film).

On the other, it is essentially a love story and a drama about coming to terms with loss and the consequences of your actions. There are also several red herrings thrown into the mix (such as Catch’s odd connection with his neighbour’s son) that ultimately don’t fit into the final resolution.

Angel Eyes isn��t exactly a bad film – as a standard drama it succeeds nicely, and its refusal to wrap everything up is commendable. However, it’s difficult to see the film and not feel in some way tricked by its ultimate resolution.

Or is it simply that we’ve seen too many of those kinds of movies and have come to expect the supernatural when it’s dangled in front of us? Whatever the case, it’s worth seeing, but the marketing department has a lot to answer for.

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Angel Eyes (15)
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Content updated: 26/09/2015 21:03

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