FiLM REViEW: Identity, 2003

We watched this last night. Quite a star-studded cast. John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Jake Busey, Rebecca DeMornay, Alf Molina. Set on a very rainy night, a bunch of random folk wind up in a motel. And then people start being murdered.

Although it gets off to a quite compelling start, once underway, the first two-thirds of the film are quite familiar territory, in some respects. But there is an undercurrent that’s kind of perplexing, suggesting we might be heading towards a supernatural thriller.

But we’re not, thank goodness! But it’s not far off that. There is a major twist, which kind of turns things upside down, or inside out. I won’t give it away. By the time the film ends, I was both impressed with, and simultaneously somewhat disappointed by, the various turns the movie took.

I liked the rainy setting, and the whole grim dark ambience. The cast and direction are good. It’s pretty dark and violent (my wife Teresa didn’t like it, because of the latter). As it recedes from me, I start to feel it wasn’t quite all that. A good ride whilst watching, with one quite clever idea, but otherwise quite formulaic.

So… downgraded from four to three stars. Entertaining but far from essential viewing.

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