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Conspiracy Theory

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4

*Also starring: Patrick Stewart, Cylk Cozart

Review by Walter Frith
2½ stars out of 4

Meet Jerry Fletcher (Mel Gibson). He's a New York City cab driver who is obsessed with conspiracies at every level. Whether it's in government, big business or anywhere else you can be sure that Jerry has a theory on it if there is indeed any conspiracy at all. Jerry lives in a very small apartment which he has turned into a shrine complete with walls decorated with pictures and news articles on such things as the assassinations of JFK and John Lennon and the list goes on and on. Jerry padlocks his refrigerator and has the food and other articles inside it in containers with miniature padlocks while his shelf food around the kitchen is kept behind an anti-burglar cage. This guy is really paranoid and believes that the drinking water contains ingredients to make people slaves to the state. He even sleeps at night with multiple locks on his front door and balances a beer bottle on the top of his inside doorknob which will tumble to the floor and break if anyone tries to break in.

Jerry is in love with Alice Sutton (Julia Roberts). She is a U.S. Department of Justice attorney and as the story unfolds we learn that he saved her from being mugged by two thieves and the two of them become friends while he thinks it's more than platonic, she likes him as only a friend. The two of them become embroiled in a fight for their lives as one of Jerry's theories apparently seems to be true but he doesn't know which one and the audience is caught in the middle of it as the film looks for answers.

'Conspiracy Theory' is a film that has to be viewed to its conclusion in order to judge it fairly. It is an extremely uneven motion picture which is uneventful at times with a sense of muddled plot and a lack of focus but there are genuine moments of action and excitement which are compelling and the film has a sense of appeal to both men and women who will be equally catered to in the film's running time which is a bit too long but prepare to sit still and avoid making trips to the pay phone, rest room or snack bar as it needs to be followed in extreme detail.

Uncanny as it may seem, Patrick Stewart plays a sharply unique villain and the film would be obtuse and flat without his presence.

'Conspiracy Theory' is a good film in a summer lacking in quality and original ideas and with Julia Roberts involved, you may draw parallels to 1993's 'The Pelican Brief' but this one should entertain most people even if you walk away trying to figure out exactly what happened.

Copyright 1997 Walter Frith

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