Saturday, December 12, 2009

Angel Eyes. B

You'd expect a movie called 'Angel Eyes' with Jennifer Lopez as its star to be some maudlin romantic drama with a spiritual twist. It's actually nothing of the sort. It is a romantic drama, but it's also a surprisingly profound reflection on family differences, loyalty, and loss. Lopez stars as a serious cop named Sharon, who is at odds with her family and rather lonely, despite her rigorous attitude and devotion to her work. One day a socially awkward man named Catch (JIm Caviezel) saves her life. Then she thanks him, gives him a ride home, and finds that she wants to know more about him. He seems very concealed and clearly is haunted by something in his past. The romance blossoms, but to its credit the movie uses the romantic element as a tool to examine both of these characters and the problems they face. As I said, this was a big surprise. I did not expect such layered characters and such rich performances. Lopez is actually quite good here, and very understandable. There's also a nice supporting role from Terence Howard as Sharon's partner. Once we find out what has been troubling Catch, we sort of see exactly where the story is going, which is partly why the final third of the movie is weak. It's also not helped by a stupid ending in which Sharon confronts her family. Still, this is a film well worth seeking out. It's not a masterpiece, but it's one of those movies that works on multiple levels and in the end is hard not to like.

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