Sunday, July 06, 2008


This Never Happened

The big joke making its rounds here about this movie was in its promotional poster for this part of the world. Perhaps to the West, Maggie Q would be just the chick from MI:3 and didn't warrant top billing, or a photograph in its poster. Here, we have a badly pasted "extra" face of hers plastered on the poster, supposedly banking on her popularity with Asians. Only that as it turned out, she only has 5 minutes worth of screentime, appearing in black lacy lingerie, and doing nothing. If that's the case, then Natasha Henstridge should also be included in the poster, since she's famous for showing off her body in the Species movies, and continues to do so here to remind everyone she hasn't really lost it yet.

While Hancock has been proven not guilty of putting everything in the trailer that you can write a review out of it, the same cannot be said of Deception, no matter how its title sounded like in trying to throw you off track. It is exactly as it is played out in the 2 odd minutes of it, so if you were to want and try to enjoy this, do not watch any of its trailer nor its stills. It really ruined it outright, stripping away all surprises in store. And while Hancock kept important stuff under wraps to bring about heightened pleasure when all get revealed, Deception's "surprise" was like a limp premature ejaculation which didn't make much sense, and insults the audience.

But that's not to say that it was bad all the way. The premise had potential, and if you're going into it blind, then there are enough to intrigue you, especially when it comes to the turn. Ewan McGregor slicks back his hair and puts on glasses to give himself the stereotypical bookish accountant look, in a firm to audit their books. As with all audits, keeping lonely late night vigils is a norm as everyone in the firm you're auditing automatically shun you, for fear of getting questioned. His Jonathan McQuarry cuts a pitiable figure that most of us in the corporate world will probably understand.

In comes a highly sociable, humourous, and charismatic legal counsel of the firm, Wyatt Bose (played by Hugh Jackman, who also serves as producer), and the two hit it off over a late night filled with jokes and the sharing of pot in a conference room, before getting so chummy with each other, that going to strip clubs to chill out seemed perfectly ok. In a careless accident, they switch cell phones, and before you know it, Jonathan gets all excited over the prospect of milking Wyatt's exclusive high society sex club membership, where members call each other up anonymously through the service, and asks a seemingly innocent question "Are you free tonight?".

Sure there are rules to Sex Club, such as no names, no details, no casual chit-chats, just the caller booking a room at the hotel, and the callee turning up as arranged to get their respective rocks off. I'm sure by now plenty of ah-peks would be interested to watch the movie already, but its M18 rating ensured that everything put on screen isn't hardcore stuff. I won't be surprised too if something of this nature already exists, serving a rich clientele who spend 90% of their waking hours in the office, leaving no time for anything else. Think of it as a matchmaking service that goes into that bit of extra.

Complicating matters of course is when Jonathan falls genuinely in love with one of the members called S (Michelle Williams), whom he met outside of the club at a train station. Being totally smitten with her, he refuses to do the deed, and breaks almost all the rules. Then begin the cat and mouse mind games, which of course would have worked, but the last act just became convenience after convenience, that made it eventually a very lazy piece of storytelling.

Deception tried, but didn't try hard enough. It had great foreplay, adequate skills, but no stamina to last the distance. Strictly for fans of McGregor and Jackman only, and of course those who still want to check Maggie Q out in lingerie, or to admire that Hendstridge still has it in her.

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