out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
A Perfect Murder
Review by MrBrown
2 stars out of 4
The murder may be perfect, but Andrew Davis's loose update of Alfred
Hitchcock's 1954 classic _Dial_M_for_Murder_ is not even close. Davis and
screenwriter Patrick Smith Kelly have come up with an interesting wrinkle
to Frederick Knott's original play: a wealthy industrialist (Michael
Douglas) wants to kill his adulterous heiress wife (Gwyneth Paltrow) for
the money, but in this version, the person he hires to do the job is the
lover himself (Viggo Mortensen). Also, for the most part, Davis and Kelly
have successfully opened up the action of the original, which largely took
place on a single apartment set.
But, as is the case with too many remakes, the slick new take falls short.
Generally speaking, Douglas, Paltrow, and Mortensen deliver passable
performances, but Douglas lacks the complexity of _Dial_M_'s Ray Milland;
he is a bit too one-note evil that it's hard to believe that anyone could
suspect anyone other than him (not helping are some obvious up-to-no-good
lines, such as this reply to Paltrow's request that a lunch date be
postponed until the next day: "What if there's no tomorrow?").
Nonetheless, Davis manages to generate some tension, yet this is squandered
by the uninspired finale, which bears the unmistakable fingerprints of
post-test screening retooling. Watch closely, and you'll notice an
underscored detail that is not picked up on in the finale, much like how
the final, post-test version of _Fatal_Attraction_ lets a similar matter
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