Clive Owen continues to frustrate with his choosing of roles in films that no amount of his innate greatness can save. Case in point is the glum Shadow Dancer, which opened yesterday in limited release. Though it boasts Owen, a solid supporting cast, nail-biter premise, and crackerjack director (of documentaries, at least) James Marsh, the film barely registers a heartbeat.
My full review ran at Film Racket, here’s part of it:
The pregnant pause is one of the more useful items in a director’s toolbox for heightening drama and tension. One can’t have just nonstop chatter and explosions, after all, no matter what the oeuvre of Michael Bay might argue to the contrary. But like any tool, it can be overused. Case in point: Shadow Dancer, a smartly cast but drearily inactive IRA thriller that tries to be all pregnant pause. This constant sidestepping manner means that by the time the credits roll, viewers understand as little about the characters on screen, and the morality of their actions, as they did when the film began…
You can watch the trailer here: