March 25, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 92  

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Jolie bares some skin in Lives

Taking Lives
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Ethan Hawke, Olivier Martinez
Directed by: D.J. Caruso

By Gabriella Barillari
Gazette Staff

Warner Bros./2004
HEY, ANGELINA, YOU’RE SINGLE, I’M SINGLE — LET’S GET SUMPIN’ GOIN’ ON Y’KNOW WHAT I’M SAYIN’? Ethan Hawke and Angelina Jolie get close in Taking Lives.

Taking Lives is a twisted tale of identity theft, but a tale that can be solved with ease.

FBI profiler, Illeana Scott (Jolie) teams up with members of the Montreal police force (Martinez, Tcheky Karyo, Jean-Hugues Anglade) to track down a vicious serial killer who assumes the lives and identities of those he kills.

Caruso, who created the cult classic The Salton Sea, directs this film. In Taking Lives, he flaunts the beauty and amazing landscape of our homeland in Hollywood style.

The film provides an excellent blend of crime, thrills, action, humour and adventure. Close attention to detail helps strengthen the film; from the gruesome, mutated corpses to the plucked-out eyeballs left by the chameleon-like murderer, the elements of graphic gore in Taking Lives are extremely vivid.

Jolie offers a high quality performance. Her role as a special agent with uncanny abilities is a humourous reflection of the actress’s own eerie ways. Who can forget her relationship with Billy Bob, or the awkward smooch session with her brother?

Jolie’s crime-solving approach is truly intriguing. Her character lies in the beds and graves of the murderer, and eats dinner while staring at photos of the massacred bodies.

Most likely, the highlight of the movie for most male and female movie-goers would be the hot sex scene, where Jolie reveals a bit of what lies beneath her silk night robe. Reportedly, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez were both interested in this character — thankfully, they did not make the cut.

Don’t fret ladies, because the sexy Hawke also heats up the screen. As a gullible struggling painter, his character finds a love interest in Scott.

Martinez returns as, yet again, the token French jerk, playing the brooding Montreal cop who is somewhat of a chauvinistic fascist.

Although Kiefer Sutherland does not act a great deal, the Canadian pays tribute to his native land — that’s what makes him so fresh.

Taking Lives’s downfall seems to be its predictability. The plot twists lack originality and the characters could have been further developed. Overall, the movie seems like another run-of-the-mill action-thriller, but its special effects and eye candy still entertain.



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