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Overall Rating

Awesome: 10.53%
Worth A Look30.26%
Just Average: 26.32%
Pretty Crappy: 19.74%
Sucks: 13.16%

4 reviews, 52 user ratings

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by Jay Seaver

"Call it Minority Report Lite."
4 stars

Call it Minority Report Lite. Like Spielberg's movie, Paycheck is based on a Phillip K. Dick story, focuses on being able to see the future, has some rather obvious product placement, and has a few good action sequences.

Heck, Kathryn Morris, Tom Cruise's wife in Minority Report, shows up in the first section. The bulk of Paycheck could be seen as an expanded riff on one of its predecessor's most clever sequences, the chase scene aided by precognition.

Which makes Paycheck clever. Where it falls short of Minority Report is that clever is as far as it goes; it doesn't have the moral ambiguity, the detailed future world, the strong performances, or the ingenious Moebius strip of a plot. That's not an indictment; Paycheck is still great fun to watch, and more than once I found myself saying "heh, good one" at some piece of ingenuity on the part of the filmmakers. I criticized The Cooler a couple weeks ago for being overly cute with its contrivances, but in a way, not trying to be a serious, character-based movie helps Paycheck succeed by doing the same thing - things happen because they need to happen, but the structure of the movie makes it a plus. The audience is in on the joke, and what might otherwise seem lazy is clever and maybe even somewhat satiric.

Another thing the plot of the movie does is allow the audience to not be subjected to an awkward romance between Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman's characters. They meet cute, sure, but one cut later three years have passed and though Affleck's Michael Jennings may not remember what went on, you don't have to worry about why Thurman's Rachel Porter is so suddenly attached to this fugitive with a nutty story. Which is good, because Rachel is a fun character, diving right into the action to a degree that's almost alarming. The girlfriend's role in these movies often seems to be "designated hostage", but this one is a valuable partner, whether it be unorthodox use of a motorcycle safety helment or grabbing a laboratory control panel and doing some robot-arm-fu.

John Woo directs with the usual John Woo-isms. People stand three feet apart and stick their guns in each other's faces with outstretched arms; a dove flies through the final big fight scene for no apparent reason. Still, there aren't many people who can choreograph a gun fight so well, so just appreciate the signature moves. Similarly, the Red Sox references around Affleck's character are forced (why they kept what they did and cut the line about the Red Sox having won three World Series that he had wiped from his memory, I don't know).

Paycheck kind of disappeared among the holiday hype, which is too bad - it may not be a masterpiece, but it's a very entertaining action piece.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8422&reviewer=371
originally posted: 06/03/04 19:22:30
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User Comments

3/24/18 morris campbell ok best i remember 3 stars
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
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  25-Dec-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 18-May-2004



Directed by
  John Woo

Written by
  Dean Georgaris

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

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