Judge David Johnson says don't be fooled.
Our reviews of Bette Davis Collection, Volume Three (published April 14th, 2008), Deception (published September 23rd, 2008), and Deception (Blu-Ray) (published September 24th, 2008) are also available.
Deception. Obsession. Seduction. Destruction. It's all part of the truth.
That's a hefty batch of buzzwords Lions Gate splashed on the cover of this movie. Does the feature live up to those descriptions, or was the tagline writer particularly bored that day?
Facts of the Case
Bessie Faro (Andie MacDowell, Sex, Lies, and Videotape) finds her world quickly falling apart when she learns of her hotshot husband's sudden, fiery death. John Faro (Viggo Mortensen, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) had always been a thrill-seeker pretty boy of a spouse, but his devil-may-not-give-a-crap attitude apparently betrayed him when he crashed his airplane into a field. Bessie receives her husband's charred teeth for dental verification and, dismayed, attends the funeral.
But she cannot grieve for long. She has a big family and a house to care for, and the bills are flooding in. She knew her husband had money, and the challenge now is to pinpoint exactly where he stashed it. A visit to his workshop in Mexico reveals a puzzling pack of baseball cards with odd notations on them.
Bessie realizes these cards are a code, and she soon deciphers the enigmatic scribblings: bank locations, account numbers, and the faux account holder's names. Bam! she' s on a worldwide adventure of banking fun!
The middle third of the movie consumes itself with Bessie's bank-to-bank-to-bank-to-bank-to-bank-to-bank-bank-to-bank-to-bank-to-bank-to-bank-to-bank-to-bank-to-bank-to-bank-to-bank-to-bank-to-bank-to-bank-to-bank-to-bank-to-bank-to-bank-to-bank travels.
Along the way she meets Dr. Fergus Lamb (Liam Neeson, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace), who, besides being the bearer of a ridiculous name, coordinates a charitable organization called Feed the World. The two make some googly eyes at each other and then separate for a while, only to be reunited when the mystery of Bessie's husband's death deepens: someone other than her is withdrawing money, and supporting some illegal goings-on.
Bessie must now shirk her responsibilities as a parent and homeowner and finally put to rest the secret of her flame-broiled former hubby.
The tagline says: "Deception. Obsession. Seduction. Destruction." Do these words aptly sum up the movie? Let's look at them, one by one.
You know I'm getting sick and tired of a studio listing its special features when it's obvious that there are none. Consider Deception:
Wow! This must be a special edition!
Technically, everything is lackluster. A grainy, pixelated transfer supported by a front-loaded stereo mix, which, processed through Pro Logic II, comes out solely from the center channel.
Deception: serviceably mediocre at best, dull and pointless at worst. Actually, it's probably somewhere in the middle.
Guilty for a heartless treatment of a blah movie. There must be something better out there to package and release Lions Gate! (Ahem, Gymkata?).
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