John Malkovich ain’t no aged Matt Damon

Casting John Malkovich as an aged Tom Ripley, the chilling murderer played competently by Matt Damon in The Talented Mr. Ripley, seemed like a good idea. This movie was supposed to have gotten its theatrical release somewhere in the neighborhood of two years ago, yet it never made it to the multiplex. A viewing of this misfire offers plenty of reasons as to why this one went straight to video after a brief showing on cable’s Independent Film Channel. It’s a shoddy production, with Malkovich basically transferring his character from In the Line of Fire into Tom Ripley, who has become an art dealer living in Italy. After a wisenheimer at a party (Dougray Scott) insults him, Ripley hatches a plan to get the man, who has terminal cancer, into the happy world of contract killing. It sounds stupid, it starts off stupid, and, apart from a rather nifty killing sequence on a train, it remains stupid. Scott is god awful as Ripley’s protégé, a horrid example of overacting. Malkovich is just doing the cool-as-ice, cold-hearted killer routine again, and plodding direction from Liliana Cavani helps to make his déjà vu work all the more dull.

Special Features: Just a trailer and some online stuff. Don’t waste your time.

Movie: D+

Special Features: F

DVD Geek Factor: 0.5