Movie Reviews: Angel Eyes




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     Warner Brothers (104 minutes)
     A policewoman is saved from certain death by a mysterious man, and they fall in love. He may be an angel, wandering the city streets at night, never sleeping, and she may be a cop whose mind is always on the job, and who can never love anyone.
     Jennifer Lopez; Terrence Howard
Bottom Line:


   I always thought, "Better late than never," somewhat had its merits.
   However, after when I finally got around to screening Angel Eyes – the current Jennifer Lopez police thriller – it would have been better to have "never" seen or reviewed it.
   Halfway through this quasi-Lopez potboiler/love story, it dawned on me that in comparison, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles was beginning to look like Citizen Kane.
   At least Crocodile knew that it was selling a worn-out shtick. On the other hand, Angel Eyes can’t make up its mind whether it wants to be a psychological thriller or a romantic drama.
   The trailer is packaged as a thriller, and for the first 45 minutes of the film, the plot tracks in that direction.
   Lopez plays Sharon Pogue, a tough "babe cop" patrolling Chicago’s high crime-ridden district. In the gripping opening minutes of the film, Pogue saves a wounded motorist who’s trapped in his car after colliding head on with truck in oncoming traffic.
  A year later, we learn Pogue often struggles with the pressures of her job and reconciling with her abusive father, whom she arrested for physically abusing her mother.
   However, the local thugs are even angrier at Pogue than her father. In a hail of small arms fire, these thugs ambush Pogue and her partner while they’re eating lunch in a small bistro.
   Just when it look likes Pogue is about to be gunned down and present the first opportunity for the screenwriters to salvage what little script that had left, she is rescued by a unshaven Norman Bates lookalike named Catch (Jim Caviezel).
   Catch is a tall, dark monosyllabic stranger who begins to stalk Pogue after saving her life. Yet somehow Pogue is attracted to Catch and the pair begin a contrived and strained relationship that would bore even the most ardent and hopeless romantic in the audience.
   As the film progresses, Pogue and Catch discover that neither one of them can go forward with this romance until they resolve painful issues from their tragic pasts. This setup forces the screenwriters to miss the second and final opportunity to save what semblance they had of a psychological or an occult thriller.
Instead, the filmmakers opt to make an uneven romantic story that should have been told as a direct and linear story instead of one that masquerades as mystery.
   Angel Eyes tries to be a tear-jerker and, in a way, succeeds – those holding a torn ticket stub from the movie watching the ending credits roll will realize they’ve been had. Then – and only then – will the theater fill with tears.



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