Not exactly excited about writing this review, take this one as a reviewer’s community service. What starts out with every indication of a good suspense drama in Perfect Stranger, somehow starts to go south in its last 30 minutes. Perhaps the storyline is too convoluted to begin with…else the director, James Foley, thought he could patch it up by cutting and splicing flash backs the way a film editor arranges scenes. Bruce Willis, as Harrison Hill, is a wife-made-man that heads up a big New York ad agency and sidelines as an inveterate woman chaser. To an unrealistic extent even. The lovely Halle Berry (as Rowena Price) comes to work as a temp covertly planted to investigate Hill’s part in the murder of a friend. But then that’s not really the case, not any aspect of it…as we learn in the last 30 minutes. Her sidekick computer geek, Miles Haley (Giovanni Ribisi) is her trusted cohort and devoted friend, excepting in the last 30 minutes when we discover him to be a sick stalker, with a shrine like a serial killer (but he’s not) and more than willing to resort to criminal conspiracy and blackmail just for some “action” from Rowena. All the while Mr. Hill lets himself get set up for murder simply because he has nothing better to do.
All of which could have been rather sorted out by the viewer except for the strange way twenty or so flash backs keep getting cut up before revealing anything at all about what’s going on.
And the end just isn’t worth this walk through the maze of a war with simplicity. Bruce and Halle should sue.
Don’t confuse children, either morally, artistically or thematically with the film, and adults, save your money.