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Reviewed on 2008-01-30
Received[1.5]  out of 4 stars
GenreCrime / Thriller
Diane Lane plays an FBI agent in the cyber-crimes unit. She investigates and prosecutes Internet criminals. She is a widow and mother to an 8-year-old daughter by day and works the night shift at the Portland bureau.

Colin Hanks (Tom’s son) plays her partner in the division. His feeble attempt at humor concerns his blind computer dating escapades.

Their latest case concerns a serial killer who streams live video of victims being tortured to death. The more visitors to the “kill with me” Web site, the faster the kidnapped human prey dies. Voyeuristic curiosity and rubbernecking fascination turns ordinary Americans into criminal accomplices.

The killings appear to be random, but a pattern develops when things turn personal.

This preposterous and sleazy movie directed by Gregory Hoblit (“Fracture”) is a cheap knock-off of the “Saw” franchise, shock videos and the torture pornography of snuff films.

The drab cinematography drains the color from the shots. Frequent aerial shots of Portland or of dark basements serve as fillers. Dark and rainy nights are resorted to in an effort to set the gloomy atmosphere.

Lane’s glamorous cover girl looks are nonexistent. She wears no makeup, allowing the audience to see every line and wrinkle in her face. Her outfits consist of blue jeans and a sweatshirt.

This material is beneath her and she just goes through the motions. The movie takes a low key approach and never builds any suspense. It sorely needs some background music.

The inane, nonsensical dialogue is spoken in hushed tones. The characters act knowledgeable when they discuss high-tech jargon that is mumbo jumbo to most of us less savvy computer users.

It took three screenwriters to concoct this unoriginal, sadistic story line with a running time of 100 minutes that was originally dubbed “Streaming Evil.”

Any episode of television’s “Criminal Minds” is better than this ridiculous, disgusting and tasteless film, which should be returned to sender and stamped unwatchable.

Review By:
Keith Cohen, "The Movie Guy"

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