Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Oxford Murders

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Oxford Murders - 2 out of 5

A mystery/thriller about a professor and a grad student out to solve a killer who might have a connection to mathematical symbols that holds the potential to be a major theme park style rollercoaster but ultimately ends up being a touring carnival type ride--poorly put together and painful to sit through. And I don't fully trust the man operating it either.

This film could have easily been entertaining to sit through as the premise is interesting but a script that seems to be unable to hold its focus and bad acting plague this movie and quickly took me out of the film. Overall, the technical aspects of camera work and editing are well done and John Hurt is the film's only actor that proves to be convincing and entertaining to watch. However, Elijah Wood (normally very good) comes off like he wasn't trying in the least and it actually gets laughable as he reads his lines like Mark Walhberg in The Happening. Wood is suppose to play the obsessed character who will stop at nothing to solve the problem (a cliche in the mystery/thriller genre) but there's a complete lack of consistency with his character as one scene will see him going mad trying to figure out the answer but the next will see him act as if he was uninterested in the problem to begin with.

The film so completely lacks focus that it has to take the viewer by the hand and walk it through the mess of a mystery it made by explaining EVERYTHING at the end. The film culminates in a Scooby-Doo like ending that made me fear that the antagonist was going to utter the words, "I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for you lousy kids." If the film hired more convincing actors and kept the script more focus on the mystery itself and NOT trying to lure the viewer away from the conclusion (this can be done without the mess this film creates...I cite The Usual Suspects who accomplished the amazing feat of having a compelling mystery that kept the viewer offtrack the entire film without trying to shove another film into the mix--which is what this movie seems to do) if it had done this, this movie could have ended up being mildly entertaining. But it doesn't and that's why it only scores a 10% on the Tomato-meter on Rotten Tomatoes.

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