Matthew (Josh Hartnett) works in advertising and has just been assigned to an important Chinese client. He is due to fly to China to handle the contract but before he flies out he thinks he sees his ex-girlfriend (Diane Kruger), who disappeared two years previously. Unknown to his boss, or his current girlfriend, Matthew cancels his Chinese trip and decides to track down his ex-girlfriend. He gets a lead to a hotel room and from there he gets another lead but for some reason his ex-girlfriend seems to be on the run and Matthew isn’t even sure if it was her that he saw at all…
The movie tries to depict a dark, intriguing mystery but in actual fact the story is essentially a straight forward love story with a little miss-understanding and deceit thrown in. To try and generate the intrigue the story is told in a convoluted way. Using flashbacks and narratives the story unfolds, and this is interesting at the start but soon becomes tiresome as the audience will solve the ‘mystery’ before all the bits come together in the end. There is no credit given to the audience and the movie spends too much time explaining what has already been worked out. The worst thing is that after all the bits fit together and all the angles are explained it’s really not that interesting anyway!
The story telling takes over and there is very little tension or suspense. There is certainly no climax at the end when any pretence of a thriller is gone and the tame ending is that of a romantic story.
None of the characters are particularly engaging and I wasn’t concerned about what happened to them. In fact I found myself watching disinterestedly. The main character, Matthew, was played by Josh Hartnett but didn’t display the charisma needed to make the character stand out. Matthew Lillard played Matthew’s friend Luke who was a much more animated character.
Bottom Line: Good idea but tried to be too clever and forgot to add in the some tension and suspense. Taking a story and telling in out of sequence and by using flashbacks might be fun but it still needs excitement and suspense.