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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner27/02/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 100 mins

Enjoyable thriller, enlivened by a decent script, impressive direction and strong performances from Diane Lane and Colin Hanks.

What's it all about?
Diane Lane stars as FBI agent Jennifer Marsh, whose latest task is to track down a seemingly untraceable killer who posts live videos of his victims in deathtraps on the internet. However, there's an added note of urgency, because the deathtraps are wired to the website's hit ratio (meaning that the more people are watching, the faster the victim dies) and word of the site is spreading fast.

Marsh is assisted by her FBI cyber-squad partner Griffin Dowd (Colin Hanks) and amusingly named police detective Eric Box (Billy Burke). However, as they get closer to uncovering the killer, the game of cat-and-mouse becomes more and more personal.

The Good
Director Gregory Hoblit knows a thing or two about decent Hollywood thrillers, having directed films such as Frequency, Fallen and Primal Fear. As a result, he keeps things moving at a decent pace and the deathtrap / torture scenes are well handled, without descending into the recent trend for so-called gore-nography.

Lane is a hugely likeable actress and she's well cast here, lending her character a depth and texture that probably wasn't in the script. There's also strong support from an equally likeable Colin Hanks, though Burke is largely wasted as Lane's half-hearted love interest (it also doesn't help that he's a rather shifty-looking actor, particularly if you've seen season two of 24).

The Bad
That said, the script does have the occasional dodgy moment, such as a laughable scene at the beginning that's meant to deter you from downloading free music and movies (Oh no – he's stealing my credit details!) and a similar scene later on that's meant to deter you from downloading, um, cute videos involving horses.

Worth seeing?
In short, Untraceable is an entertaining thriller that's better than it sounds, thanks to strong performances and Hoblit's assured direction.

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Content updated: 18/01/2020 18:55

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