Faces in the Crowd is one of those films that simply infuriates you as its horrible plot moves along at a snail’s pace. Milla Jovovich plays Anna, a schoolteacher who develops prosopagnosia, or face blindness, after narrowly escaping a local rapist and serial killer named “Tearjerk Jack.” Since she’s unable to recognize faces, she’s unable to identify the killer, resulting in a clichéd game of cat and mouse as she learns to cope with her condition.
It’s hard to say something about this movie without devolving into utter vitriol over Julien Magnat’s utterly inept story telling abilities. Everything about this film is pure formula, and from the start you’re tempted to just shut it off out of pure frustration. By the time the big twist rolls around after almost an hour and a half, you’re laughing over how ridiculously predictable it is.
The acting is certainly no better. Milla Jovovich simply cannot bring anything that resembles depth to a character. She can’t act her way out of a paper bag. Her counterpart, played by Julien McMahon with a dead animal taking over his face, is the typical “good cop” with a dash of hardened 50s detective who must be downright sullen that Nip/Tuck ended and he’s forced to take such terrible roles.
Faces in the Crowd is a textbook example of a straight-to-DVD mess. Any attempt to actually convey suspense is lost in a convoluted narrative propelled by bad acting and ridiculous plot points that make you want to scream out in utter disbelief.
I suppose the DVD could be more than a coaster if it possessed enough special features to make what is certainly an exorbitant price worthwhile, but like most direct-to-DVD releases of sub-par thrillers, they’re conspicuously absent. The options include a Making of Featurette; that’s it. And it’s not even good. Writer/director Julien Magnat introduces how the concept came to be, while Jovovich calls it Hitchcockian, proving she has no idea what the hell she’s talking about. I will give it some credit, though; the method through which they created the doppelgangers of each character was pretty intriguing, if not horribly executed in the actual film.
Beyond that we’re given a choice to see “More from Millenium,” as well as trailers from upcoming films. Honestly, who gives a crap? Something a bit more worthwhile could include a good, scientific background on prosopagnosia, a condition I’m pretty sure not many people are familiar with. It was, after all, the only interesting part of the film.
Unless you have a thing for boring, bland thrillers, skip this movie. Your money is better spent on something practical, like a haircut.
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