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Taking Lives is a crime thriller that was released in 2004 staring Angelina Jolie, Ethan Hawke and Keifer Sutherland.
Jolie plays FBI Agent Illeana Scott, flown (for puzzling reasons not well explained) into Montreal to assist with the investigation of a murderer. Hawke plays a witness to the crime, whom she must protect. The case gets interesting when she deduces that the killer is actually stealing the identities of his victims, making him harder to track. Olivier Martinez and Jean Hughes Angalade also star as detectives assigned to the case.
The film is a relatively by-the-numbers crime thriller, taking heavy cues from Se7en in terms of tone and style (the opening credits are almost plagiarised), but is still an enjoyable watch. Critical reception was mixed, though generally positive. The consensus seems to be that it's nothing new into the genre, but it's entertaining nonetheless. The biggest criticism seems to be how easy it is to spot The Reveal even from the start of the film.
The film is based on a novel by Michael Pye, but is adapted very loosely. For starters, Jolie's character doesn't appear in the novel.
This film contains examples of:
- Batman Gambit
- Bilingual Backfire: Done over the course of a few scenes. The two detectives speak French, insulting Illeana (and the viewers, since they had to import French actors...into Quebec...Wrong accent!). She reacts at the time, although it also looks like she might just be a bit unsettled by their using a different language to her. Then two scenes later she calls them out on it.
- The Chessmaster
- Didn't See That Coming
- Dead Person Impersonation: Please refer to the work's title.
- Destructo-Nookie: The natural progression from wall-banging.
- Freudian Excuse: Explained by Agent Scott during her profiling brief.
- Ho Yay: The movie opens with a bit of this. And there's a lot of it between Sutherland and Hawke. What is he talking about?
- Heroic BSOD
- Kansas City Shuffle
- Police Are Useless: The woman claiming to have seen her dangerous son isn't taken very seriously by the interviewer.
- Right Through His Pants: During a sex scene, Angelina Jolie wears only an open robe but Ethan Hawke keeps his suit on.
- Scare Chord
- Title Drop: By Agent Scott as she's getting everyone up to speed on her latest theory.
- Wall-Bang Her: It's Angelina Jolie, so a rather hot example.
- Where Did We Go Wrong?: Mrs. Asher acts as though she might ask herself this.
- Who's Laughing Now?: Probably not the one getting her head cut off.
- You Fail Geography Forever - On a three-hour train ride from Montreal to Fredericton. Which IRL takes 22 hours!
- Someone to Remember Him By: Illeana gets quite a belly from her one night stand. Of course, it turns out the pregnancy was faked to lure her fugitive serial killer baby-daddy into an FBI trap.