The Walker was written and directed by Paul Schrader, a man with a mixed bag of past credits. He wrote the screenplay adaptation for Bringing Out the Dead, directed the prequel to the Exorcist, directed American Gigolo, and also wrote and directed the powerful drama Affliction. Dramatic pacing should be his thing and his thing is slower than some, but not as slow as others; with enough attention to detail to provide plenty of intrigue.
The Walker stars Woody Harrleson with Kristin Scott Thomas, Lauren Becall, Lily Tomlin, and William Dafoe. The story centers around Woody’s character, Carter, and his lifestyle as a gay man who escorts older married women around town while their husbands are busy. It is a fancy and rich life he leads, rich with gossip and soon rich with conspiracy as he is drawn into a murder mystery involving a man one of his lady friends was having an affair with.
This movie is a hard one to really recommend and yet I did not dislike it. My eyes may have wondered to check the clock a couple of times during, but I never felt the desire to turn the movie off. This is thanks to the interesting character and the director’s keen directing. The acting from everyone is good as well, though I will say Woody Harrleson’s gay accent slurs a bit too deep and Southern sometimes to be understandable. The chemistry between himself and the actor playing is boyfriend was very intense.
The best way to describe this movie would be to compare it to a similar paced movie and that would be Michael Clayton. If you liked Michael Clayton, The Walker may be more confusing a plot or more simple a plot (could go either way for you), but ultimately I prefer The Walker. I think Michael Clayton was a blatant Oscar bid sort of movie which lacked acting and relied on slow camera close ups of a man just staring. The Walker might not have the cute and cliché twist ending of Clayton, but throughout the movie remained more intriguing for me. I especially liked Carter’s apartment set in the movie along with the music played as he preps for bed, and finally the camera work used during a foot pursuit late in the game. Almost at times bordered on a noir vibe.
The Walker is not a movie I recommend and yet I liked it enough. As conflicting a review as this may seem I’m not sure how else to really describe it for you. Perhaps I have inspired your curiosity to check it out for yourself, or perhaps I have scared you away; either thing works fine for me.