Movie Review: Untraceable – Starring Diane Lane

Untraceable on DVDMovie: Untraceable (R)
Released: January 25th, 2008
Runtime: 1 hr. 40 min.
Ticket Price: $7.50 Matinee
Refreshments: Gummy Bears
Starring: Diane Lane, Billy Burke, Colin Hanks, Joseph Cross & Mary Beth Hurt
Director: Gregory Hoblit

Rating: Worth a Rental

Synopsis: A special agent in the cybercrime division of the FBI comes across a very tech-savvy predator that is using his website to kill his victims with the help of the sites visitors. The more that come to the site, the faster his victims will die. Every time the techs at the FBI try and shut it down, it pops right back up again. It is like nothing they have ever seen, as his site seems to be untraceable. As the game of cat and mouse between the FBI and the killer goes on, it becomes personal for one of the agents, as the killer starts focusing on her. The taskforce races the clock to stop this tech mastermind from continuing to kill.

Review: Untraceable is a decent thriller from director Gregory Hoblit, who brought us the slickly done, but poorly plotted, and similarly paced Fracture. That movie, as with this one, moves along too slow. In this case, there are too many shots that are designed to ratchet up the eeriness and tension, but only leave you momentarily board and wishing they would get on with the story.

Diane Lane (Must Love Dogs, Unfaithful) is terrific, as usual. She brings substance to what should have been a much more substantive movie.

The premise of the movie is an interesting one and, unfortunately, probably isn’t far from the truth of what might really happen in that situation. But, so much more could have been done to give the moviegoer something to think about upon leaving the theater, as well as entertaining them while they were there.

Untraceable plays as a sort of commentary on the potential dangers of online life played out to the extreme, but the message seems to get lost. But, unlike when the computer says, “the only winning move is not to play” in War Games, the comments scrolling up the screen by visitors to the killer’s site don’t have much impact. They even led one fellow moviegoer to laugh, hopefully a nervous one, but a laugh none-the-less. This can’t be what was intended, although maybe it proves the movie’s point.

One thing that was good about Untraceable was the ending, as they went a different way than what you would normally expect in such a film. Would say more, but don’t want to give too much away.

Overall, Untraceable will make a good rental choice a few months from now when it hits DVD. Until then, you would probably be much better off heading out to see one of the best picture nominees that have recently re-entered your local cineplex. Kind of wishing that I went to see Rambo instead.

How about you, have you seen Untraceable? What did you think of it?

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Jason of New Movie Friday
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