Starring: John Cusack, Ray Liotta,
Amanda Peet, Clea Duvall, and John C. McGinley.
Directed by: James
speaking? Identity is a suspenseful tale that whacks you upside the
head with its delightfully different unfoldings.
a group of folks find themselves thrown together thanks to one
hell of a storm, a handful of odd coincidences and perhaps, fate. The roads are
closed and the Inn is open. And by Inn, you need to picture a decrepit Bate's
Motel-like pit with a creepy grungy Diner where the Earlybird special is the "lighter
on the bubonic plague" omelet platter. Naturally these two delightful
havens of horror are in the middle of Nowhere, USA.
wary travelers are from all walks of life, and seem to be almost cartoons of their
professions and titles...
the spoiled movie star and her verbally abused chauffeur. They are checking in
because the chauffeur, Edward (John Cusack), has just driven into a woman (literally)
thanks to the wicked celeb's verbal hail and of course the storm's wicked rains.
With the roads out the motel was the closest respit.
the woman the chauffer accidently smashed, lay in shock in a schmaltzy room holding
on to life by a narrow thread while her by-the-manual-like husband (John C. McGinley)
and withdrawn spooky Damien-like child watch helplessly.
The storm gets
Then there's the call girl (Amanda Peet) who just wants to
get home and start fresh. Her car broke down and she was lucky enough to hitch
a ride to this hell hole, er, refuge
in also is an odd bickering newlywed couple (Clea Duvall and William Lee Scott)
that find themselves thanks to the horrible weather and so forth, stranded too.
Finally, on the guest list is a police officer (Ray Liotta) that was
transporting a convict (Jake Busey) in need of shelter from the storm, when he
happens to spot the motel.
He'll come in handy when the patrons of the dreaded Hitchcockian motel start being
sliced and diced by some serial killer on the loose. A killer who is one step
ahead of them and seems to have planned this little soiree of slaughter because
oddly all these people have a couple things in common.
apparently the killer is one of the guests, or perhaps it's the weird office clerk,
who's got a basket full-o-issues. This clerk may not have any stuffed birds hanging
in his office, but what's that in his industrial sized freezer?
is just wonderful. The whole group, lead by studmuffin John Cusack, deliver a
remarkable script. It is remarkable in its refreshing uniqueness and genuine suspense
factor. You'll be a good three-fourths into the story before any lights start
to dawn in your mind. The plot is well guarded by its players.
Cusack has picked another intelligent script (no I am not referencing that
crapfest America's Sweethearts). I speak
of last winter's clever Max which, apparently, was
a tad too artsy because about ten people went and saw it - but Identity
should be a big box-office smash for the lad. Why do I care? Because we (by we,
I mean me) want more of the guy. A nonstop barrage of sixty-foot visual fixes
would do it. And the more successful the film, the more scripts thrown his way,
the more scripts in his big manly hands, the more chances of him accepting and
thusly fulfilling my deep dark obsession with the tall scrumptious piñata
of deliciously delectable manly bits!
Director James Mangold (<- love the name) and screenwriter Michael Clooney
have managed to keep all the film's secrets till the right moment. The very end
has a tad of a neat and semi-expected stitch which is as smooth as a ball of cheap
cotton yarn, but the rest of the film is so well done who's picking? Enjoy.
is phenomenal. Blending Film Noir, and Hitchcockian-like chills director James
Mangold nailed it. The dvd is also well put together. The commentary with Mangold
really shares the private world of film making. He misses nothing. As he said,
there's a part where you, "Realize the movie is more then Col. Mustard in
the drawing room with the candlestick" describing perfectly a pivotal scene.
You'll find yourself re-watching scenes after he explains them (me at least) to
really grasp the thought. So well done is the discussion it feels like a fancy
film school seminar. The DVD also has a Starz special "On the Set" that
explains without ruining the film wonderful "secret." Ah-dorable John
Cusack explains it best as he says the cast are like pawns in a chess game, working
from the plot as opposed to characters leading you to the plot...or
something like that. Oh, the film? Genius. One of the smartest scripts
in years. The cast? Scrumptiously delicious! Read above baby. Audiences didn't
grasp this in the theaters- it disappeared...you have a chance t redeem yourselves
now. Watch with the lights at a minimum for added suspense. Buy this immediately.
See DVD details below film review.
Starz Behind The Scenes Special
OPTION for branched version of film w/ alternative ending!