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Overall Rating
3.05

Awesome: 10.67%
Worth A Look30.67%
Just Average: 25.33%
Pretty Crappy: 20%
Sucks: 13.33%

4 reviews, 51 user ratings


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Paycheck
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by EricDSnider

"You'll see worse films."
3 stars

Adaptations of Philip K. Dick's sci-fi short stories have been a mixed bag so far. "Blade Runner" (1982) was good, "Total Recall" (1990) was mindless, "Impostor" (2002) was stupid, "Minority Report" (2002) was great, and now we have "Paycheck," a fast-paced little potboiler that neither helps nor hurts the Philip K. Dick genre.

It's a film as innocuous and unmemorable as its lead actor, Ben Affleck, who plays a high-priced computer engineer named Michael Jennings. In this version of the present day, there is technology which allows you to erase a certain portion of a person's memory -- the last 10 days, say. What Michael does is he goes to big companies, designs fantastic products for them, then has his memory wiped clean as part of his non-disclosure agreement. The company doesn't have to worry about him selling what he knows to their competitors, and Michael gets a fat paycheck for doing something he now has no memory of. Life is sweet, no?

Ah, then his wormy old buddy Rethrick (Aaron Eckhart) hires him to spend three years -- THREE YEARS! -- working on a top-secret project that, we eventually learn, deals with predicting the future. When Michael emerges from the memory-wiping session, he discovers he's wanted in connection with some criminal activity, and that he mailed himself a bag of worthless items instead of taking stock options for payment. He can't remember doing this, of course, much less why -- but the worthless items begin proving useful, and he realizes he's orchestrated his own escape from the law in advance, if he can figure out the clues he left for himself.

These are some good old-fashioned plot devices here: the innocent man on the run, the guy with no memory, the man who wants to change the future, and so on. Affleck carries the film well enough, helped considerably by Uma Thurman as his girlfriend, in whose hands something ordinary like a wrench or a motorcycle helmet can be used to great effect.

Director John Woo doesn't employ the same visual stylishness as most of his films, though he does force his trademark doves into one scene, absurdly enough. The screenplay, by Dean Georgaris ("Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life"), is pretty vague on HOW, exactly, Rethrick's machine is seeing the future; either you buy it because it's a sci-fi movie and you have to buy it, or you don't. Most of the sci has been dropped altogether, and the remaining fi is basic stuff, entertaining as far as it goes, but nothing special. It moves quickly, doesn't belabor the obvious, doesn't do anything stupid, and will be forgotten the moment you exit the theater, even without the use of memory-wiping technology.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8422&reviewer=247
originally posted: 01/12/04 00:08:28
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User Comments

4/12/10 randy andy total bollocks 1 stars
2/04/10 Jeff Wilder John Woo and Phillip K Dick just don't mesh that well. 2 stars
10/11/08 Sugarfoot More apple proof that Woo sold out for the almightly dollar. 1 stars
3/20/08 matthew I liked it, can't understand the negative opinions 4 stars
7/16/07 Alexander Ben Affleck plays like a wooden doll. Just eyeing his paycheck. 2 stars
6/27/07 gr117 Crapola 2 stars
1/11/07 chris f great movie and pezmaker is just a dick 5 stars
9/22/05 pezmaker absolute shit. Great story, by a great author. Fucked by a crappy director. 1 stars
9/17/05 Naruto Total bullshit! Only low IQ people will like such cinmatic toxic waste 1 stars
8/11/05 ES Once again we see you don't have to use logic to get a time travel/vision movie made= bad 2 stars
6/26/05 TMc Very enjoyable, keeps you guessing! 4 stars
6/17/05 othree Needs more SciFi, less crappy casting 3 stars
6/01/05 Steve Newman Instantly forgetable, tame, unexciting and would not watch again 2 stars
5/31/05 Jiz Affleck was a bad choice, the ending fight scenes prove it. Good concept, poor execution. 3 stars
4/25/05 tatum Dick's dense prose reduced to a series of explosions and stunts 3 stars
4/24/05 Quigley a good sci-fi story, but Woo must've hallucinated when casting began. Affleck? no way, man! 4 stars
3/11/05 The Sorrow Great writting gone unappreciated... 4 stars
2/19/05 Chimaera Ben afflecks best performance. Of course that's not saying much. 4 stars
12/04/04 Kristina Williams Uma's the only thing worth watching. 2 stars
9/26/04 Archanist_101 Damn bloody PG-13 rating... Oh well 4 stars
9/16/04 Stanley Dorvil Brilliant masterpiece. A story about a reverse-engineer who reverse-engineered the future! 5 stars
8/13/04 slip Better than Most of Aflleck's films,I had to put the pieces together , which in these last 4 stars
7/03/04 Nobody Almost as good as minority report and for once Ben's acting doesn't suck! 5 stars
7/01/04 "Meth Lab" for Dummies. Its NOT Woo's fault, the American studios dont let him right his own stuff check your self! 4 stars
6/13/04 Lord Jiggy Better than you've heard...still has problems, but enjoyable until the last 10 minutes 4 stars
6/08/04 vasilis No good 2 stars
6/07/04 Ron Miller Afflecks best 4 stars
5/31/04 John Poo's "Arse/Off" This may not be Woo's best film or may not have had violence, but it's a fun film! 4 stars
5/30/04 Troy Kuprash Great Flick 5 stars
5/24/04 Mickey With A C Car cases? Ben Affleck? Poor P.K. Dick 1 stars
5/22/04 Jackie Thomas Fun,I love the look of the film 4 stars
5/12/04  Shaun Rose Fun movie 4 stars
5/02/04 CasperTheWeapon woo owns. dick owns. why did this film suck so much ass? 2 stars
3/19/04 kari dennis very bad 2 stars
3/01/04 long river one of the best moives in 2003 4 stars
1/30/04 Littlepurch For a Ben Affleck film it was actually quite clever. 4 stars
1/18/04 Saj Khan Pathetic. Is Ben Affleck trying to kill his carrer?! 1 stars
1/14/04 Betty White Badly choreographed action scenes; Affleck needs some acting lessons. 1 stars
1/10/04 Black Leather Jacket Doesn't anyone enjoy Action Films anymore w/o getting a bad tomato? 5 stars
1/07/04 malcolm a summer popcorn movie released in the middle of winter 3 stars
1/07/04 KingNeutron Great ride, Affleck totally redeemed fromGigli. Casting Joe Morton from T2 was a nice touch 5 stars
1/05/04 Chris I enjoy myself, nothing spectular but creative and entertaining. 4 stars
1/02/04 bob get rid of Ben and get someone else 3 stars
1/01/04 Chow Yun Fatt "You will not believe how Woo managed to get a dove into the movie." I really like this. 5 stars
12/31/03 Admiral Piet Couldnt they have put anyone else beside BenLo in this? Jim Varney? anyone? 3 stars
12/30/03 broken shadow great action movie although it was too predictable... 4 stars
12/29/03 Jin John Woo=Sucks 1 stars
12/27/03 Dave ANYTHING by John Woo deserves nothing more than 2 stars. 1 stars
12/25/03 Uncle Salty Should've been named Reality Check, as in why are movies this bad still being produced... 1 stars
12/25/03 Brian interesting how a movie about predicting the future was so...predictable... 3 stars
12/25/03 Black Leather Jacket Great Action Film! Why can't people just have fun for a change 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  25-Dec-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 18-May-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  18-Mar-2004


Directed by
  John Woo

Written by
  Dean Georgaris

Cast
  Ben Affleck
  Uma Thurman
  Aaron Eckhart
  Colm Feore
  Paul Giamatti
  Kathryn Morris



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