Paycheck

2003

Mystery / Sci-Fi / Thriller

Paycheck (2003) download yts

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Ben Affleck as Jennings
Uma Thurman as Rachel
Krista Allen as Holographic Woman
Michael C. Hall as Agent Klein
720p
700.12 MB
1280*720
PG-13
25.000 fps
1hr 59 min
P/S Unknown

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Flagrant-Baronessa 5 / 10

Minority Report meets The Bourne Identity meets... hack producers and plain bad writing

First, let me debunk the myth that this is "an awful movie" as I keep reading – because it has some interesting (albeit unoriginal) notions and it often executes them well. More importantly, it will generally keep you interested by navigating futuristic concepts in a fast-spinning pace that will unable you to yawn or look at your watch. Secondly, in spite of its technologically-ridden science fiction premise, Paycheck does not fall prey to the fatal "style over substance" crime because it at least tries, which is more than I can say for its peers (Equilibrium, The Island, etc).

So the effort is at least there and 1/3 into the film, you feel that things are really well-sewn together when the plot starts unfolding. Then it completely falls apart. This is understandable, because it's pretty off-the-wall: Michael Jennings is an expert engineer hired by high-profile corporations for a reverse engineering technique which usually takes about 3-4 weeks depending on the task – then his memory is wiped clean and he receives a big paycheck. Well, this process tears on him and when the opportunity for a big-budget, 3-year-long job presents itself as "the last job", Michael takes it. He also meets a girl during this time called Rachel (an unusually rough-looking Uma Thurman). With a clean slate post the completion of the job, Michael discovers that he has declined the paycheck and left an envelope for himself filled with clues as to what happened in the past – and what lies ahead in the future.

It may sound intriguing but because this was originally written as a SHORT story by Philip K. Dick, all the characters are completely unexplored, flat and downright uninteresting. It does not help that Ben Affleck botches through the story with his usual puzzled look that only ever seems to fit in Kevin Smith productions. Thurman also inhabits a truly badly-written role here, and the banter between her and Affleck is self-referential in the most cringeworthy way (they quote their sappy first meeting, etc). They also mostly resort to meaningful glances to convey their love. That's the central performances for you, and sadly the ONE character that could have saved the others from the mud is Michael's buddy Paul Giamatti. Unfortunately he fades quickly and is later only ever used as a comedic sidekick to make up for the lack of clever things to say.

If you do not mind half-hearted acting from the leads, and perhaps you are only interesting in seeing this because it's a John Woo movie, then you will also be disappointed because there is little of Woo's dynamic, adrenaline-pumping, Mexican stand-off laden, martial arts-spinning action in this story. I remember one motorcycle chase that took me back to M-I-2 and strangely also The Bourne Identity (in which Matt Damon is being chased while on the search for his identity post-amnesia) but it was lacking in oomph; there is also a brief Woo-like face-off on the subway tracks between Affleck and the key henchman but this is the most daring John Woo will allow himself to get – the rest of the time he blindly follows the standard formula for modern sci-fi/action fare. In other words, Affleck looks at an item in the envelope, has a startling revelation, sets out knowing exactly what to do and when to do it, being effortlessly aided by conveniently appearing objects and doors – then some henchman interrupts him.

I think this is one of those films that continuity spies could OD on, because the plot really is thinner than an Olsen twin. For example, how could Michael be such an expert genius engineer if he keeps on erasing any technical information post completion of a work task? He'd have to start from scratch every time. You just have to look past the stupid goofs, the flat characters, the mediocre acting and the safe action if you want to enjoy Paycheck (2003) – but then... there is not much left.

5 out of 10

Reviewed by applezoid 8 / 10

Better than I thought

I went in to this film with relatively low expectations. Other reviews I had read led me to believe that this was a cookie cutter, run of the mill, made for tv-esque amnesia story. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The main plot of most amnesia types is trying to find out who they are and why someone erased their memory. With Paycheck, however, our protagonist already knows why his memory was erased, and since it's only been three years, he of course knows who he is.

The plot device is that at the end of this little memory wipe he's supposed to be 92 million dollars plus richer. Imagine his surprise when he finds out he's forfeit the money, and instead mailed himself some apparently worthless junk. Oh, and the company that hired him is trying to kill him.

This is what a Sci Fi movie should be, relying on an interesting premise, with future predictions based on current technology. Sci Fi is not space with explosions every five minutes.

Although there are a few minor plot holes, I found the movie very engaging, and thought the acting was competent, to say the least. Those who enjoyed Minority Report might also like Paycheck. It's worth a look.

bck

Reviewed by Roland E. Zwick 5 / 10

some clever plotting done in by man-on-the-run cliches





Though futuristic in look and tone, John Woo's `Paycheck' is really a throwback to that oldie about the man who wakes up one day as an amnesiac only to find himself being pursued by the authorities for a crime he may or may not have committed (just about every other Hitchcock film seemed to be built on this premise to one extent or another). The difference is that Michael Jennings is an amnesiac by choice, a brilliant engineer and scientist whose job it is to develop top-secret inventions for hi tech corporations. Once he's delivered the goods, he allows his memory to be erased – thereby rendering him innocuous as a security threat - in exchange for the lucrative paychecks the companies offer him.

Yet another of the many recent adaptations of a Phillip Dick story, `Paycheck' begins in the present day, a strange choice on the part of the filmmakers actually, for in this film's view of 2004, the technology for memory erasure seems to be in full swing and widely accepted (perhaps the producers didn't want to have to deal with the expense or bother of creating futuristic designs for their sets and costumes). The majority of the story, however, takes place in 2007, after Jennings `wakes up' from a three-year stint working on a secret project about which he can remember nothing. The trouble is that things haven't quite worked out the way Jennings planned as he finds himself the quarry of both the FBI and the organization for which he was working. Of course, Jennings doesn't know why. As is customary with films of this type, we uncover the clues and piece together the picture right along with the increasingly more enlightened main character.

It's that piecing together that is the sole factor of interest in `Paycheck,' for Dick is clearly a writer with a fertile imagination and a gift for mind-bending storytelling. When the film sticks to unraveling its plot complications, it is generally sharp, intriguing and thought-provoking. Too often, though, the film degenerates into a collection of man-on-the-run, action movie cliches. Although the special effects are occasionally impressive, the far-too-frequent chase sequences defy all logic and believability. In fact, a number of scenes actually elicit a few unwanted giggles, so ludicrous and over-the-top are the setup and execution. Director Woo, past master of action spectaculars, is clearly working on autopilot in this film.

There isn't much to say about the acting, either. Although Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman - as the woman Jennings fell in love with during the three years, but whom he can no longer remember - do their best with the characters assigned to them, neither is given much chance to expand beyond the stereotypical confines of their respective roles.

When it comes to all those involved in this film, I suspect that Jennings isn't the only one here working solely for the paycheck.

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