Writer: Jon Bokenkamp (Screenplay) Michael Pye (Novel)
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Ethan Hawke, Kiefer Sutherland, Gena Rowlands, Oliver Martinez, Tcheky Karyo, Jean-Hugues Andlande, Paul Dano
Plot: An FBI profiler is called in by French Canadian police to catch a serial killer who takes on the identity of each new victim.
Tagline – He Would Kill To Be You.
Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Not as Good as it Should Be
Story: Taking Lives starts as we see a young man kill another young man to steal his identity, years later a body is discovered in Canada which leads to the local French-Canadian police to call in FBI profiler Illeana (Jolie) to help with the new mystery body. Things take a turn when a man Costa (Hawke) believes he interrupted the next attempted murder before the killer is finished dealing with the body.
When the police learn this killer has been killing and stealing identities the case takes a turn and now they must figure out who the latest victim is and who he has become.
Thoughts on Taking Lives
Characters – Illeane Scott is an FBI Profiler bought in to help with the case of a killer that is stealing identities of the people he is murdering, she gets the profile correct and wants to had home after starting to become interested in one of the key witnesses. Costa is a key witness who interrupts one of the murders before the killer can complete his plan, he gives the information to track the killer. Hart is a man that soon enters Costa’s life after the incident making him the prime suspect as the killer.
Performances – Angelina Jolie is solid enough in this leading role which disappoints because we know she can be a fantastic cop figure. Ethan Hawke struggles with his role too which is only really filled with disappointment as he never convinces in his witness role. Kiefer Sutherland disappoints because we know how good he can be and want to see him more often in a film.
Story – The story is a FBI agent needing to help track down a serial killer who steals identity, yeah these are usually entertaining to watch but this just doesn’t reach the levels of mystery it needs, this might be because this is a repeat viewing and I know the ending, but there are never really any hints or suspects to work with through the film. the film lacks the true tension needed in a film that is filled with twisted crimes going on.
Crime/Mystery – The crime is interesting for a killer to be acting the way they do, the weakest part is the mystery as we just don’t meet enough potential suspects.
Settings – The film is sent in a big city which plays into the idea that someone could steal and identity and kill someone without people noticing someone going missing.
Special Effects – The effects are good because we get to see practical effects when it comes to the kills and aftermath from them.
Final Thoughts – This is a crime thriller that lacks the punch to make it stand out from the crowded market, we always need a large group of suspects, but this didn’t give us enough, while it did create a great killer.
Overall: Lacklustre crime thriller