Can I have another movie? Another movie where Banderas teams with Neeson? Because this can’t be it. It shouldn’t be. Liam Neeson is a marvelous actor. I have tremendous respect for his work. No matter what the genre, he shines through his role. Take a look at Nell, Schindler’s List, Michael Collins, Love Actually, Kinsey…The list goes on. And last but not least I have seen him in Taken- a breath-taking action drama, where he proves to be an impressive action hero – at the age of 56, which is downright cool. And in the same year as Taken, I saw him in The Other Man, where he plays the husband, as opposed to the other man portrayed by Antonio Banderas. And Antonio Banderas is a good actor. Sure he has to play roles that greet his Hispanic roots (he has never mastered the American accent, as you might have noticed) and this of course blocks his diversity to some level but other than that, he is almost always fun to watch. And under normal circumstances, he would be perfect to play the lover. He has made a name for himself for being hot – and rightfully so. Remember Desperado? Femme Fatale? Original Sin? Never Talk to Strangers? Even if he played guys that fall for the lead females deceptive ways (apart from Desperado), he is perfect as the sexy man. Hell, the first two Spanish guys were blonde, boyish and not nearly half as masculine.
So normally, it is a good idea to cast Neeson as the devoted husband who gets crushed to find out his wife had an affair. And it would make perfect sense that a woman could fall for an exotic looking stranger. But then there is the movie plot where I didn’t get or sympathize with any of the characters.
The movie overall has a very dark, gloomy and tedious atmosphere. Instead of mystery and curiousity, boredom is much more likely to happen. I couldn’t understand for the life of me why Laura Linney’s Lisa would fall for Antonio’s Ralph. He doesn’t have anything going for him (not even looks- you should see the haircut and the white socks). He is an average guy who doesn’t even have an ounce of mystery around him (well- that’s what you think a woman cheating on a devoted,stable and predictable husband would go for). So Lisa cheats and we can’t see why. I can’t see what it is about Lisa that made those two men love her that much…
Did I not go into the plot? Well, when Peter (Neeson) finds out, he finds out who and where he is and sets out to…well to kill him. The cat and mouse thing gives the movie a little thrill, but then it is slow again and the twists we get do more harm than good.
If it hadn’t been a movie with Neeson and Banderas – and I really like Laura Linney’s work too (especially The Life of David Gale with Kevin Spacey) – I would have just said that it was a slow movie and not exactly my thing. But I know how much excitement the actors can bring to the right parts and how capable they are of picking good scripts. So the result is disappointment and well, hopes for a reunion – fingerscrossed, with a different director and a screenwriter.