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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner21/02/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 103 mins

Enjoyably trashy thriller, stylishly directed by Tom Shankland, despite a couple of dodgy performances and an over-reliance on gory torture scenes towards the end.

What's it all about?
Stellan Skarsgard plays Eddie, a grizzled cop in what is meant to be New York, assigned to a new partner, jittery detective Helen Westcott (Melissa George). They're on the trail of a killer who carves part of a strange algebraic equation (the W-delta-Z of the title) into the body of each new victim and as the corpses pile up, Eddie realises that the deaths might have something to do with a horrific gang rape case several years before.

The Good
Waz is extremely trashy but it's stylishly directed and the climax has a certain balls-to-the-wall chutzpah about it, even if you can see the main twist coming a mile away. That said, it does have its fair share of unforgiveable moments – for example, a shot of a mutilated child seems included just to inject a bit of shock value.

Skarsgard is great value as ever and there's strong support from Ashley Walters (as Skarsgard's informer), as well as an amusing cameo from Paul Kaye (Fuck the monkey! The monkey's nothing!) as a creepy scientist.

The Bad
However, Melissa George really is a Patsy Kensit for our times and is, as usual, horribly miscast - it would be fine if her nervousness was incorporated into the plot but it isn't. In addition, the film features yet another terrible performance from Tom Hardy (Scenes of a Sexual Nature), who doesn't seem to be able to deliver lines without mumbling incoherently.

The film's biggest problem is its over-reliance on grisly torture scenes towards the end. For one thing, these scenes are rapidly becoming a tired and unwelcome cliche and for another, Shankland doesn't seem to have the heart for them anyway and the climax seems a little watered down as a result.

Worth seeing?
In short, Waz is a bit of a mixed bag but worth seeing on balance, especially if you're a fan of trashy thrillers.

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Waz has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 16/12/2019 05:35

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