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  Publicity Stills of "Deception"
(Courtesy from Shaw)

Director: Marcel Langenegger
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Ewan McGregor, Michelle Williams, Natasha Henstridge, Maggie Q
RunTime: 1 hr 48 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: M18 (Sexual Scenes)
Official Website: http://www.deception-movie.com/

Opening Day: 26 June 2008


It’s a world of “intimacy without intricacy,” for the élite corporate auditor, Jonathan McQuarry (Ewan McGregor), when he was brought into a special club for the privileged—a decadent playground for Manhattan’s executive upper crust. His chance meeting with Wyatt Bose (Hugh Jackman), a charismatic corporate lawyer had him join the club and discovers a side of himself that he didn’t know existed. In Wyatt’s world, the men wear four-thousand-dollar suits and, when they loosen their ties, they frequent steamy underground boîtes, where the women are drop-dead gorgeous, and available.But Jonathan's affair with a ravishing and mysterious stranger known only by her first initial, “S.,” (Michelle Williams) will expose him to yet another world he never imagined—one of treachery and murder.

Movie Review:

Looking at the cast of this seemingly erotic thriller (come on - how erotic can a movie get here in Singapore?), one would think that there would be lots to see. There’s Hugh Jackman who sheds his sexy Wolverine goatee to play a corporate lawyer. There’s Ewan McGregor who sheds his Jedi robe to play a corporate auditor. There’s Michelle Williams who leaves Brokeback Mountain behind to play a mysterious stranger known only as “S”. There’s Maggie Q who leaves her Balls of Fury behind to play, well, another mysterious stranger who appears only in a less than five minute scene in the 108 minute movie.

The list of sexy actors does not end there. Add Natasha Henstridge (who can forget her portrayal as a sexed up alien in 1995’s Species?) and the critically acclaimed Charlotte Rampling (we seriously don’t know what the actress of art house films like 2003’s Swimming Pool and 2005’s Lemming) is doing here) to the already impressive cast of actors, and it seems like you will be ready to have a rollicking time of dangerous and sexy conspiracies.

Alas, what a mess this eventually turns out to be.

McGregor’s accountant is a boring office worker who gets introduced to a mysterious sex club by Jackaman’s suave and sophisticated lawyer. His new life becomes sex-citing but good things don’t come free, as the poor guy becomes involved in a woman’s disappearance and a heist that could cost his life.

Sounds like a decent plot? Wait till you see Mark Bomback’s (Die hard 4.0) ridiculously absurd screenplay materializing on screen. Under Marcel Langenegger’s direction, watch in horror as the talented Williams gets reduced to a pouting girl of the night and Maggie Q appear onscreen in her nighties playing an inconsequential role. It doesn’t help that these high profile actresses are given mediocre dialogue to spout. The silliness doesn’t stop here. Check out Canadian actress Henstridge as a suit shedding “Wall Street Analyst”, and in the most bizarre turn of events, the award winning English actress Rampling as a suit shedding “Wall Street Belle” – don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Sure, this movie may be Langenegger’s feature film debut. And with Dante Spinotti’s (X Men: he Last Stand) flashy cinematography, we understand the filmmaker’s attempt to portray a shadily dangerous corporate world where secrets are hidden in every corner, but the outcome is a muddled mess. The filmmakers try to make you stay awake and sit up with flitting sex scenes (the movie is only rated M18 -Some Sexual Scenes, folks) and the multiple plot twists that we saw coming a mile away, but these tactics don’t seem to work very well.

There is no logic involved in this movie (why would anyone believe that you can have sex with different women every night without paying a single cent?); there is no indication of any smartly scripted dialogues from any of the actors (“That was foreplay, now you are f***ed); and there is absolutely nothing you’d bring home with after leaving the theatre.

Well, maybe except the wish to look as good as the sexy cast of actors who have earned some pocket money by agreeing to star in this sluggish flick.

Movie Rating:

(Don’t be deceived by the super sexy cast – this movie will have you wondering why the actors agreed to star in it in the first place)

Review by John Li


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