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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Deceiver (1997)

Following the grisly murder (she's dismembered) of a prostitute (Renee Zellweger), the chief suspect is a rich and arrogant pampered heir (Tim Roth) to a textile fortune. The two detectives (Michael Rooker, Chris Penn) assigned to the case play a cat and mouse game, matching wits with the suspect but the crafty (his IQ is 151) psychopath turns the tables on them. The film's title refers not only to the expert prevaricator but the two detectives, who aren't honest with themselves nor with the outer images they present. Directed by Jonas and Josh Pate, the film's premise is stimulating and the film doesn't lack style but it's sloppily executed and the absence of believability eventually compromises any credibility the film might have had. Never once does Roth ask for an attorney during the week long grilling and when he turns the tables on them, they seem surprisingly nonresistant. The film does save a terrific twist for the last scene. With Ellen Burstyn, Rosanna Arquette, Michael Parks and Mark Damon.

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