A Perfect Murder ***1/2 (out of 5) (1998)

Cast: Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, Viggo Mortensen, David Suchet, Sarita Choudhury

Directed by Andrew Davis


Hitchcock's DIAL M FOR MURDER revisited, this time with Douglas out to off his filandering wife, and hiring her lover to do the deed. Things get complicated when the lover isn't up to the task, and the man he's hired gets offed himself by the woman, leaving Douglas to try to tie up all of the loose ends before everything he hopes for slips through his fingers.

Excellent performances, with interesting twists on the original film, and compelling direction by THE FUGITIVE's Andrew Davis highlight this intruiging suspense film. The film isn't without it's flaws, as you may find it difficult to resolve the fact that you'll probably wind up rooting for the murderous Douglas not only due to his usually being the good guy in his films but because the lovers are severely flawed characters most will think deserving of getting offed, especially the lame-ass Mortensen as Paltrow's love interest. With PSYCHO and REAR WINDOW also being made this year, I am left with mixed feelings about this latest trend. On the one hand, these remakes speak to the fact of Hitchcock's timeless themes in his films, while on the other hand it points out that Hollywood has perhaps run out of ideas when even a remake of a middling Hitchcock film is one of the better thrillers to come out in recent years.

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