THE WATCHER (2000)
Keanu Reeves, James Spader, Marisa Tomei, Ernie Hudson, Chris Ellis,
Robert Cicchini, Yvonne Niami, Jennifer McShane, Gina Alexander, Rebekah
Louise Smith and Joe Sikora.
Screenplay by David Elliot and Clay Ayers.
Directed by Joe
Distributed by Universal Pictures. 97 minutes. Rated
They say that at any given time, there are fewer than ten serial
killers in the world. That will be news for Hollywood, where they are all
over the place… there is a serial killer sighting at least weekly. The
Watcher is yet another movie about a disturbed white loner who
spends amazing amounts of time and effort, hatching insanely elaborate
In an interesting switch of expected roles, professional good guy Keanu
Reeves plays the mad killer while James Spader who has carved out a career
niche of disturbed and heartless characters, is the determined FBI agent who
tries to take him down. In another twist, Spader’s Fed seems much more
disturbed than Reeve’s psychopath.
But, frankly, that’s about it as far as originality goes. The rest is
pretty much paint-by-numbers horror, with some genuinely spooky scenes
eventually overwhelmed by the strict adherence to the formula. Marisa Tomei
is particularly hung out to dry here… she won an Oscar, for chrissake… give
her something to do other than be a screaming victim.
is far from the worst serial killer movie out there, but it’s far from the
best either. It’s just there… (9/00)
Jay S. Jacobs
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Posted October 19, 2000.