“Untraceable” stars Diane Lane, Billy Burke, Colin Hanks, and Joseph Cross. It’s directed by Gregory Hoblit (Frequency, Fractured) and written by Robert Fyvolent and Mark Brinker.
Jennifer Marsh, a secret service detective, gets drawn into a cat and mouse game with a killer who seems to be untraceable. This killer relies on the Internet and its viewers to kill his victims, setting up torture devices that respond to the number of views the site gets. The more views, the quicker the victim dies.
This is your usual by-the-numbers crime thriller that follows the book note by note, resulting in predictable occurrences. The acting is a cut above mediocre and the concept is very intriguing, it’s just all used in the wrong way. It’s sloppy in it’s depicture of this stark subject and is poorly structured. Rather than delivering a strong moral, the result is a film with a pharisaic message.
The film is bombarded with cliches, ranging from events that occur in both torture films and crime thrillers. While most of the Hostel and Saw films are a guilty pleasure of mine, the majority of those weren’t without intelligence and didn’t juggle around a moral it never followed. As much as I like Diane Lane, she certainly doesn’t quite tune into her character’s role. There are moments of undeniable suspense, but this isn’t my idea of a satisfying movie. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. A luridly unsatisfying, commonplace, non-thrilling thriller. There is no mystery to be solved and the whole thing unfolds in a very typical manner.
It’s not a terrible movie (I have seen much worse), it just doesn’t satisfy and ends up being a movie I wish I didn’t see. The film does have a modish look, but it is dumbed down by the inept script. When there is no brains to a movie, it just becomes another regret. Nothing new or original is coughed up in it’s very long running time, reaching nearly two hours long and feeling much longer than that. This is a film that doesn’t know that it’s going against its own moral. A rare way to disappoint its audience, but it does it so profoundly it’s as if it was on purpose.