Movie Reviews: Perfect Stranger




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     Columbia Pictures (1 hr. 49 mins.)
     A journalist goes undercover to ferret out businessman as her best friend's killer. Posing as one of his temps, she enters into a game of online cat-and-mouse.
     Halle Berry, Bruce Willis, Nicki Aycox, Giovanni Ribisi, Gary Dourdan
Bottom Line:

Laurence Washington

After being subjected to almost two hours of Halle Berry’s trashy, twisty thriller called "Perfect Stranger," suddenly, her gawd awful "Catwoman" began looking as good as "Citizen Kane."

Yeah. It’s that bad.

The "Perfect Stranger" plot is so ridiculously convoluted and predictable that its’ supposedly surprising finale will make you want to drive a stake through your heart.

Berry plays Rowena, a superstar newspaper reporter who writes investigative stories under a nom de plum. Rowena’s latest target, philandering businessman Harrison Hill (Bruce Willis), is suspected of brutally murdering her childhood friend Grace (Nicki Aycox).

Rowena goes undercover as a temp in Hill’s advertising agency with the help of her computer hacking friend Miles (Giovanni Ribisi). Using a secret email address that Grace used to contact Hill, Rowena uses her sexy online persona to seduce Hill, hoping to get closer to him and expose him as the killer.

After several false starts, "Perfect Stranger" rapidly descends into a multitude of red herring whodunits and freak-out flashbacks where the murderer could be Hill, his mysterious wife, Rowena’s hacker friend Miles, or Cameron (Gary Dourdan), Rowena’s unfaithful boyfriend.

The only frightening thing about "Perfect Stranger" is how bad this film would have been without the star drawing power of Berry and Willis. However, even with its stars, "Perfect Stranger" is still a forgettable pulp thriller full of endlessly ridiculous plot twists.



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