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June 19, 2009

3

Out of Sight

by Franz Patrick


Out of Sight (1998)
★★ / ★★★★

I just had to see this movie because pretty much all the film critics I respect gave it a really enthusiastic recommendation. I don’t know if it’s because I was anticipating something more serious instead of a caper film with comedy that brings the “Ocean” franchise to mind, or if it’s just one of those movies that critics adored but I never got into. George Clooney stars as Jack Foley, a bank robber who one day escapes from prison. Right off the bat, he’s put into a room (well, more like the trunk of a getaway car) with the splendid Jennifer Lopez as a federal marshall. Eventually, the two realize the chemistry that they have and I thought it went downhill from there. Steven Soderbergh is an undeniably talented director but the way the story unfolded made me not care. While there was complexity in its non-linear storytelling, I felt like a lot of the characters were just running around without some sort of ultimate purpose. They were so blase to the point where I thought the only ingredient that was missing was for them to wink directly at the camera. Actors like Catherine Keener, Isaiah Washington, Steve Zahn, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, and others seem to go in and out of the story and I was left confused because I thought that it would all come together at some point. Unfortunately, it never did and by the time the credits started rolling, the picture left a bitter taste in my mouth. However, I do admit that there were some pretty clever and funny lines from the script. Still, those bits and pieces weren’t enough to save the overall product. I wish that “Out of Sight” would’ve been a straight-up thriller. Perhaps then I would’ve liked it a lot more since it would have found a better footing when it comes to its tone. And while people remain to praise this film’s technical achievements, such as its freeze frame techniques for emotional purposes, I’m going to side with the minority and say that “Out of Sight” is not worth the two hours.

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jun 21 2009

    It’s been since I saw this, but I sort of feel like time is working against it. What felt fresh eleven years doesn’t necessarily feel quite as fresh now.

    Reply
  2. Jun 22 2009

    Hmm, I guess it’s because other newer movies that follow the same kind of story as “Out of Sight” have done a better job. But I tried really hard to watch this movie (as I do with every movie) as its own but it still let me down, unfortunately.

    Reply
  3. Jun 24 2009

    Yeah, it’s really hard to watch every movie on its own terms, and particularly when you don’t have the opportunity to recreate (or re-imagine) the context in which this movie was meant to be consumed. I watched it in the theater back in 1998, but now I can now longer see it without the memories of the Ocean’s trilogy popping up in my head. Also, I’m having a heard time deciding whether the Ocean’s association is working for Out of Sight or against it.

    Reply

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