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The Watcher (2000) star
Reviewed 2001-05-21: I had never heard of The Watcher, but I rented it because I enjoy the acting of James Spader. But casting Keanu Reeves as a serial killer probably killed this film. He's "pretty," but the Second Look Reviewguy can't act, so I guess the intent was to make the character passionless. James Spader almost saves this film, though without much help from Marisa Tomei. It isn't her fault, really. She is wasted as Spader's psychologist: she seems resigned to the role of damsel-in-distress, and it's not like we don't see it coming.

And it's not as if we haven't seen film like this before, and better done, in which the serial killer is so wrapped up in taunting a particular detective that he forgets that the point of committing murder is to get away with it. I wish Spader, who first impressed me in Sex, Lies and Videotape, would find himself in better films -- he's been in some real stinkers -- because there's a lot of unused talent in that guy. As for Reeves? I guess there's no escaping the truism that pretty boys get the roles, regardless of talent.

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Ronald Bruce Meyer is a freelance reviewer.