Watcher, The

1 bone dogRated: R
Stars:  Keanu Reeves, James Spader

This cat and mouse thriller involving a tormented FBI agent and the killer who stalks him while selecting women to strangle is a run-of-the-mill suspense with a mild twist.

Keanu Reeves plays killer David Griffin who has tracked FBI agent Joel Campbell (James Spader) from Los Angeles to Chicago where Campbell is being kept sane and functioning through regular visits to his pretty shrink, Polly Bellman (Marisa Tomei). Campbell, you see, has had some nasty run-ins with Griffin through the years and has suffered a personal loss as a result. Now, he’s a disability basket case surviving on pain and sleep medication. But when Griffin makes his presence known, Campbell’s back on the job tracking the killer before he can kill again.

Griffin makes the game interesting by choosing a victim and then giving Campbell and the Chicago polce department 24 hours to find the girl he plans to strangle with piano wire.

Campbell has his own demons to contend with as he searches for clues and we’re left wondering how many women will die horrible deaths before the authorities catch the bum.

Also features: Ernie Hudson (Ibby) and Chris Ellis (Detective Hollis).

Lotta says: Of course all this is so totally familiar you’ll also wonder why you’re watching it. It must be for the acting. Spader’s good and Reeves makes for an eerie killer at times. Is that enough? Not really, but let’s just say this is an “okay” film when you have nothing better to do.

Reviewed 3/27/01