What is it about Ben Affleck and smokers? I'm thinking particularly of REINDEER GAMES. Remember when he filled his squirt machine gun with rum? As in "This'll come in handy if someone gets the drop on me but decides to light a cigarette first instead of shooting me?"
Well, there's something even more unlikely involving Ben Affleck getting a lucky break when someone's dumb enough to light up in PAYCHECK. Still--gotta do SOMETHING to get him out of that room, and at least they don't save it for the finale.
Still, I had a pretty good time with PAYCHECK, I must admit. I happen to love word puzzles--you'll never find me without a crossword book or some such. And while the action here is your standard chases/gunfire/lotsa explosions business (sorry, but John Woo remains rather generic and predictable at this point), there's good fun to be had with the premise. I don't need to rehash it, as you've probably seen the trailer a hundred times--but the gimmick of "what are these items FOR?" is a good one, and the results are never less than amusing.
It's not up there with MINORITY REPORT (let alone BLADE RUNNER) in the Philip K. Dick intensity department, but it manages to run roughshod over the formula-bound, simplified-to-a-fault TIMELINE, for example. It's also quite appropriately cast and acted--and yes, that includes Ben Affleck. You WILL find yourself wishing that Uma Thurman had a bit more to do, but this isn't KILL BILL, after all (which doesn't prevent her from getting a good bit of ass-kicking in all the same--she also scores a huge point in the obligatory vehicle chase scene with her use of a motorcycle helmet).
Matinee? Sure. But you could do far worse than PAYCHECK in the long run.
As in not off. If you want to post about mainstream flicks, this is the forum.
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