Hey. Here’s a good idea. A cat-and-mouse thriller with a sadistic serial killer more interested in taunting the authorities than murdering his victims. So we’ve seen this many times before, but there’s a hook, right? A twist? Nope. While this film is by no means appalling taken on its own merits, it has absolutely nothing original to offer. If you’ve seen a single serial killer movie in your life, there’s no point in watching "The Watcher. "
Depressed FBI agent Campbell (James Spader) is tired of chasing murderers in Los Angeles, so he moves to Chicago. A guilty past and years of stress have got to him: he’s on medication and has regular sessions with Marisa Tomei’s psychotherapist.
Soon, Chicago’s young single women start dying in horribly familiar ways. Deciding that murder just isn’t as much fun without Campbell around, the notorious serial killer Griffin (Keanu Reeves) has followed him east.
Griffin picks his prey, watches them for a while, takes some photos and sends the snaps to Campbell, giving him 24 hours to find and save them. Do you think he succeeds? He gets tantalisingly close though, right?
After a few impersonal murders-by-numbers, you’ll never guess whose photo Campbell receives in the post? That’s right. Pretty well the only woman in the film who even has a name, and certainly the only one Campbell cares about.
The most fun you can have with this insultingly formulaic and utterly predictable film is trying to guess which cliché will be next: will it be the rooftop chase, the car crash, or the explosive finale at a disused riverside warehouse?
With thousands of film makers desperately seeking funding, how did this lot succeed? More worryingly, what on earth are the always-watchable James Spader and Oscar-winning Marisa Tomei playing at? Reeves appears to have become involved because the director, Joe Charbanic, has shot a few videos for his band, Dogstar... more believably, no doubt.
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