Panic Room

The Boys (Mark, Ben, Wayne) and I went to a preview of Panic Room last night. Panic Room was a film I’d had no interest in seeing – the premise seemed a little off, I’m not a huge Jodie Foster fan, there was a kid in the movie – but Forrest Whitaker is in it, and then I discovered that David Fincher was the director. I’m a huge David Fincher fan, and I’ve liked each of his films progressively more than its predecessor.

But I have to say, I think this one missed the boat.

On the upside, it had some beautiful fake steady-cam work, much like the condo scene in Fight Club, as we move seamlessly through the house, through coffee-cup handles, etc. Beautifully done. Unfortunately, we’ll now see this same effect used to death for the next year or so I predict, much like The Matrix fight scene work has been. The scoring I also felt was well done, with Howard Shore putting in a fairly pedestrian, but apt score for the film.

On the downside: Seeming blunders: why were the criminals not as good at breaking into a house as the mom? Why was the intercom first a paging system that the criminals couldn’t talk to her with, but once she was on the outside, she could use to talk to them? Why was the psycho such a one-dimensional psycho? Etc.

The direction was perfectly adequate, but unfortunately, it was nothing more than that. Nothing set it apart really from other films. The suspense wasn’t very well maintained, nor did I ever feel terriblyattached to either ‘side’: One wanted some money, the other was hiding. There really wasn’t a reason for all the hullabaloo – the crooks didn’t want them, and they didn’t own what the crooks wanted. So wtf?

So maybe see it on a tuesday night or a sunday matinee, but it doesn’t come highly recommended from me.