Vivendi Visual Entertainment // 2006 // 117 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Eric Profancik (Retired) // July 29th, 2009
Revenge is never sweet.
No, but it's best served cold...and in space.
Eddie Schneider (Til Schweiger, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo) is an up-and-comer at the Birk Advertising Agency. He's landed lots of new clients, brought the firm money and prestige, and he's also won the heart of the boss' daughter. But everything begins to fall apart once the engagement is announced. Eddie's soon-to-be brother-in-law also works at the firm, and he's intensely jealous of Eddie's success. In a bout of anger, he rapes someone at the firm, whom he believes Eddie is having an affair with. But Eddie isn't having an affair with her but someone else. With the mounting pressure of the engagement, potential partnership in the firm, and an investigation into the rape, Eddie makes one wrong decision and his once happy life begins to crumble. How bad will it get?
One Way has the biggest "what the heck" opening I've ever seen in a movie. It starts with a beautiful shot of a tranquil, gentle stream surrounded by lush greenery. Then it soon changes into something I won't detail, and a few minutes later I found myself stunned by what happened. Unfortunately that is the best part of the film, as it quickly devolves into a poorly acted, boring drama about people you don't care about. On top of that, the hook that's created in that opening act is never fully utilized.
My problem primarily stems from our lead actor, Til Schweiger. From my two seconds of casual research, it would appear that Til is quite popular back home in Germany. He's loved for his many romantic comedies; but, oddly, he's more of a faux action guy here in America. He's about to appear in Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds, and his previous American film was the dud Far Cry. The root of my problem: his accent. I know that's shallow, but it's just not as charming as Arnold's. It's just too distracting, constantly making dislike him. It's illogical and irrational yet his accent wouldn't allow me to like him as an actor or like his character. Fortunately, we're really not supposed to like Eddie since he's a pig, cheating left and right on his wonderful, faithful, and beautiful fiancé. Regardless of that, if you don't like your lead, cannot give him an ounce of credibility, your movie can't connect with the viewer.
On a bigger scale, One Way is just a mess of a movie. The narrative is gibberish, relying on cliché after cliché to give momentum to a stale story. Just when you think it might offer something fresh, it retreats into the boring, tried, and true Hollywood dawdle. And if you can get past that, the entire cast turns in performances you wouldn't wish on the lowest of basic cable programming. I was amazed by the amateurish performances before me, certainly wondering how all these people ended up in the production -- including Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight), whose heart is clearly not in his throwaway role.
With less than optimal enthusiasm for One Way's story, I am glad to muster up more gusto for the transfers. While not demo worthy, both video and audio are clean prints with no significant errors to mar the already marred presentation. Video is a 2.35:1 anamorphic print with accurate if not vibrant colors, solid blacks that stray a bit too murky on occasion, and good level of detail. Audio is either a 5.1 or 2.0 mix with the default 5.1 ranging from quiet to pandemonium in this movie. Being dialogue heavy, most of the action comes from the center channel without any distortion, and surrounds are faintly used for ambience. In a few scenes everything really rocks, but that's because we're in a loud bar with outrageously bass heavy music. The only bonus feature is the film's trailer.
For those who care, it appears One Way was previously released in Europe on DVD while this is its American debut.
Michael Duncan Clarke is in this movie. He must have one huge skeleton in his closet to get dragged into that awful role!
One Way is not a good movie. I didn't hate it, but I found nothing I liked. It feels like I lost two hours sitting through that turgid slop, so my recommendation is to save you that pain and ask you not to rent or buy this one. If you are some fan of Til's then I still have to ask you to keep away. He's popular for some reason, but I can't believe any of that will be found here.
One Way is found guilty of going the wrong way.
Review content copyright © 2009 Eric Profancik; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Vivendi Visual Entertainment
* 2.35:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 117 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated