Jeff Bridges plays Michael Faraday, a professor at George Washington
University. He teaches a class in, of all things, terrorism. His wife,
an FBI agent, was killed several years ago in a botched raid on a suspected
terrorist's home. Michael's son, Grant (Spencer Treat Clark), is wary
of his father's new love interest, Brooke (Hope Davis), a graduate student.
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Tim Robbins, and
Through a string of occurrences, Michael strikes up a friendship with
his neighbor, Oliver Lang (Tim Robbins). The friendship offers many things
that Michael and Grant need in their life, like companionship. After a
few weeks, however, Michael begins to suspect that Oliver may be hiding
something. He begins to do a little research into some of the facts in
Oliver's stories. He finds that Oliver may not be who he says he is.
Ignoring increased skepticism from his girlfriend and his FBI buddy (Robert
Gossett), Michael becomes obsessed with finding the truth behind Oliver's
past. As the film progresses, a strange set of circumstances comes into
play and the movie tumbles to its rather somber ending.
Though the movie does have some interesting things to say about the way
the government deals with terrorism and acts of violent crime, it offers
little in the way of solid entertainment. Other than pressing a few emotional
buttons and making one think about past events like the Oklahoma City
Bombing and Ruby Ridge, the movie's poor script and rather bland direction
fail to elevate it to a level where those attributes do anything to stave
off your urge to take the movie back to Blockbuster before it's over.
Jeff Bridges, whose swollen-looking face and slurred speech seem to indicate
he filmed the movie shortly after a barroom brawl, mumbles his way through
most of his scenes. Tim Robbins, who is normally one of my favorite actors,
doesn't add much to his scenes at all. Joan Cusack brings a welcome bit
of creepiness to her role. The other members of the cast could be replaced
by anyone and they'd still take a backseat to the poor pacing and plodding
By the time the "shocking" ending
finally arrived, the only feeling I had was one of relief. Relief in
knowing that, although I'd
never get the two hours I wasted on this film back, I could warn others
not to waste their time with this movie.
release of this film was delayed due to the shootings in Littleton,
Colorado. (Source: The
Internet Movie Database)