Paycheck

Time to get over your personal Affleck-factor, slip on your best DareWear, and check out Paycheck. Time well spent at the movies!

Rating: 4 out of 5

Okay, I'm not a fan of Ben Affleck. Yeah, I liked him in Daredevil and all, but I've not been really kooky-crazy about him as an actor or about his films except of Shakespeare in Love, a film very early in the pre-JLo phase of his life. Sad thing is, there's a lot of pressure (yeah, like you can call his like "pressure"...I'll take that pressure any day!) on ol' Ben to crank out a hit because his last few film have all tanked. Hard to believe Gigili did so because even without Ben, JLo really shows off her talents in Maid in Manhattan. Seriously though, Ben needs a hit, a big hit...

...and in Paycheck, Ben finds it.

First, Ben is in good company. John Woo directs Paycheck and really hits a nice balance between a terrific SF-action film and a John Woo film. You have all those great Woo-Woo touches (but dammit, John, what is with the dove imagery?!), but he also manages to get some very personal, human performances to this movie, making Paycheck a little better than the average action film. Then you got Uma who is still looking buff from her Kill Bill project. She is the most unlikely actress to make action films...at least, I thought she was. Uma kicks ass, and does it very convincingly. With a very strong supporting cast (including Paul Giovanni, a terrific character actor that brings fun to any project he's involved in!), Ben and Paycheck can't go wrong.

On a final note, don't be surprised if you notice some strange similarities between this film and Minority Report. Both of these film are based off the works of Philip K. Dick. And if you rush out to get a copy of the original Paycheck, expect very little similarities between Woo's directing and Dick's writing. I read the original Minority Report (not much better than the film) and BOY HOWDY did they take liberties! However, Paycheck, unlike Minority Report, succeeds not only as Philip K. Dick on the big screen but working as a movie...a really GOOD movie! The chase sequences do not feel contrived. There is genuine tension built in the film. And instead of noticing that "Spielbergian" look, I genuinely cared about the characters and storyline of Paycheck, reinforcing my faith in Philip K. Dick films.

This was worth the ticket and a good time, to boot! Way to go, Ben! You done good!