Let’s say you are having lunch with a casual acquaintance.
For the past few days, you’ve been hanging out (e.g. playing tennis and trading small secrets while smoking recreational drugs) and while you wouldn’t call them a friend just yet, you wouldn’t mind doing so in the future. During the lunch break, you get your cell phones mixed up and can’t exchange them before your new pal goes out of country for two weeks. Then, one night, you get a strange call from a woman and all she says is "Are you free tonight?"
You try to explain to this mystery person your quandary of cell phone mix-ups, but the only thing she keeps repeating is that question. Instead of asking if she is either a robot or has a case of obsessive compulsive disorder, you say, "Yes, I’m free tonight."
You meet strange woman at the designated hotel and are introduced into an exclusive sex club called The List. The List caters to the wealthy and beautiful denizens of New York City who want intimacy without intricacy.
That’s what happens to shy, unassuming and portrayed as friendless Jonathan McQuarry (Ewan McGregor) in "Deception."
Within the first few minutes of the movie, it is made abundantly clear he leads a boring existence. While the Big Apple plays at night, he is slaving away as the audit manager for a large law firm. Between number crunching or whatever it is that auditors do, he spends his free time wistfully watching the night clean-up crew playing kissy-face and the life that is going on outside of the window.
Enter attorney Wyatt Bose (Hugh Jackman, the only man who looks better with mega sideburns than he does clean-shaven). He is charming, confident, and sexy; all the things Jonathan wants to be.
At first, it seems as if Jonathan has finally found a friend, but not all is well on the Wyatt charm train. I don’t think the audience was supposed to think "ah, an ulterior motive," but who walks into an office at night and shares their drugs with a complete stranger, especially one working hard at auditing stuff?
After the first night of The List, angelic Jonathan becomes devilish Jonathan responding to every caller that asks if he is free tonight.
Since he is only part of the club via Wyatt, he doesn’t know the few rules of it. Those rules include no business talk, no conversations and definitely no exchanging real names. However, most rules are meant to be broken, and Jonathan does so when he falls for S (Michelle Williams). He met her once on the subway and immediately fell into movie love with her. He wants to have a real relationship with her instead of the raunchy hotel room relationship kind.
Is this stunning S really the woman of his dreams, or is she playing a more sinister game with him – a game that could get him killed?
I must say that I am being deceptive here myself. This review might make it seem like it is a good movie, but it isn’t. It has the ingredients for a good, sexy thriller with McGregor, Jackman and Williams, but it was as if they also gave up on the movie halfway through it. It could be because of first time movie director Marcel Langenegger, or it could be because they were so bored of the script and its inane dialogue. "Deception" also had a decent plot line but the lack of surprises (and the completely ridiculous ending) makes it fail faster than I would in an advanced mathematics course.
I gave this film a D-.
Dedra Cordle is a Messenger staff writer.