- Rated R
- Buy the DVD
All photos © 20th Century Fox
Reviewed by David Medsker
ou’d be hard pressed to find a sex thriller as unsexy and thrill-free as “Deception.” It feels as if someone wanted to play kinky games with David Mamet’s “The Spanish Prisoner,” and then forgot to fill the movie with clever twists, pithy dialogue, or anything else that would make for a good movie. It all looks good, of course – casting Maggie Q, Rachael Taylor and Natasha Henstridge in bit parts and putting them in lingerie will do that – but it doesn’t boast a single suspenseful, or even plausible, moment.
Ewan McGregor stars as Jonathan McQuarry, a lonely accountant who works until midnight every night. One night he strikes up a conversation with Wyatt Bose (Hugh Jackman), a lawyer at the firm whose books he’s auditing. After an afternoon of tennis, Wyatt and Jonathan accidentally swap cell phones, and before Jonathan even realizes what is happening, he is receiving invitations to participate in a super-secret sex club containing a bevy of Wall Street hotties and power players. Jonathan is having more sex than he’s ever had in his life, but when he falls for one of his hook-ups (Michelle Williams), which is against the rules, he realizes the game he’s playing is much more dangerous, and much more personal, than he imagined.
Scotland’s not having a good year when it comes to playing Americans. First Gerard Butler fell all over his accent in “Nim’s Island,” and now we have McGregor doing what sounds like an alien life form’s impression of an American. Hasn’t McGregor done enough movies to have an American accent down by now? (We’d blame director Marcel Langenegger for his actor’s shortcomings, but the first-time director is Swiss.) Jackman doesn’t have any problem with his accent, but that was arguably the only thing Jackman has going for him here. As con artist heavies go, he’s one of the least intimidating in movie history. Williams never had a prayer as the sex buddy-turned damsel in distress. Her character, and her meet-cute with Jonathan, is rushed to the point where it’s speed dating with benefits. The part where she tries to talk dirty is one of the most unintentionally funny scenes in the movie.
All you really need to know about “Deception” is in the title. It’s just so terribly vague and meaningless. Call a movie “Deception,” and it sends the message that you’re not trying very hard. And as it turns out, they weren’t.
Single-Disc DVD Review:
For a movie that suffered as many release date and name changes as "Deception" did, it's surprising that the movie has as many extras as it does. Not to say that it has an abundance of them, but more than your typical movie that made a mere $10 million worldwide at the box office. Along with an audio commentary from director Marceln Langenegger, there are three deleted scenes, the last of which is an alternate ending to the film that works far better than the bloody mess they tacked on to the theatrical cut. There are also two featurettes, one on making the movie and another on sex clubs. Again, not much, but more than anyone had a right to expect.