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The Diva's review of
Murder By Numbers (2002)

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Viewed at Pacific Place, Seattle
Rated R; running time of 118 minutes
Genre: Thriller
Written by: Tony Gayton
Directed by: Barbet Schroeder
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Ben Chaplin, Ryan Gosling, Michael Pitt, Agnes Bruckner, Chris Penn, R.D. Call

WARNING - SPOILERS BELOW.

The Digest

Cassie Mayweather (Sandra Bullock) is a brilliant yet driven homicide detective. So brilliant and driven that she has alienated her fellow detectives and goes through partners like there's no tomorrow. Her new partner, Sam Kennedy (Ben Chaplain), quickly becomes in awe of her crime scene technique as he watches her go through the case they have been assigned.

This case is Sam's first and boy is it a doosie. A young woman has been killed and dumped in the forest and there is virtually no physical evidence and what is there, Cassie believes has been planted.

They follow what leads the can muster up and the evidence points to a school janitor, but when Cassie is there questioning the staff and students, something doesn't set right, she keeps zeroing in on two teenaged boys who on the surface have nothing to do with one another. Her instincts are better than she or anyone else could have guessed. These two young men, Richard (Ryan Gosling) and Justin (Michael Pitt), are in fact the real killers. They committed the murder to see if they could get away with it. All the other detectives have followed the obvious path, which is what Richard and Justin wanted, but not Cassie. She knows they are involved somehow. But convincing everyone else is harder than it looks, especially when her behavior problems are back to haunt her right along with her personal demons. If she can just get someone to trust in her instincts, she knows she can get the real killers behind bars.

The Dish

Someone please tell me why I'm supposed to feel sorry for two teenagers who have everything - except attentive parents- yet still manage to piss their future away? Two smart and rich white kids who can't think of anything better to do with their time besides kill someone? Help me out here. Why am I supposed feel sorry for them? Let's remove race from the question. Two smart and rich kids who have the world at their feet and they choose to commit a murder instead. How ridiculous is this? Not ridiculous in the sense that this would never happen and the writer is on crack, Columbine proves it can happen, but why should I be convinced to feel sorry for them? Patooey!

Something that has been getting on my nerves as of late are plot holes. I'm tired of being lead down paths that end up being a dead-end. Why show Cassie constantly drinking like a fish, but never address it? Why show that the relationship between the boys is crossing over into something obsessive, but never show how it got to that point? One minute they hate each other; the next minute one is stalking the other. What's up with that? We also have veiled references to a horrible man from Cassie's past. She needs to confront him to get closure on that part of her life yet the audience isn't invited to see that. That annoyed the heck out of me.

Maybe if there had been some chemistry between Bullock and Chaplain things would have been better, but they were almost painful to watch. They didn't connect on the screen at all. Blah.

The Directive

Bullock fans may want to catch Numbers to watch her try to sink her teeth in a dramatic role. Other than that, there's nothing else to see.
flashing red

118 - the number of minutes this movies runs. 22 - the number of minutes it took to bore me to death. 116 - the number of minutes I want back.


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Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 2002
EMAIL: thediva@3blackchicks.com
ICQ: 8690410
http://www.3blackchicks.com/

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More 3BlackChicks™ review(s) for this week:
(movies reviewed week of 04/19/02):
The Diva's reviews:
The Scorpion King | Murder By Numbers


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