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Deception (2008)

April. 25,2008
| Thriller Mystery

As a corporate auditor who works in a number of different offices, Jonathan McQuarry wanders without an anchor among New York's power brokers. A chance meeting with charismatic lawyer Wyatt Bose leads to Jonathan's introduction to The List, an underground sex club. Jonathan begins an affair with a woman known only as S, who introduces Jonathan to a world of treachery and murder.


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An accountant is introduced to a mysterious sex club known as The List by his lawyer friend. But in this new world, he soon becomes the prime suspect in a woman's disappearance and a multi-million dollar heist. Deception is better that it usually gets credit for plus Hugh Jackman went totally against character by playing a bad guy in this film (years before his X-24 clone in Logan). Ewan McGregor and Michelle Williams were also very good in their roles and although slow this movie was more of a sex thriller than an action movie and it works 100%


Deception is directed by Marcel Langenegger and written by Mark Bomback. It stars Ewen McGregor, Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams. Music is by Ramin Djawadi and cinematography by Dante Spinotti.Jonathan McQuarry (McGregor) is a timid New York accountant who whilst working late one night meets Wyatt Bose (Jackman). Bose is the complete opposite to McQuarry, he's highly sexed, confident and supremely cool. So when a mix up with the pair's mobile phones introduces McQuarry to an exclusive sex group, he's spun into a world completely alien to him.If you have watched a lot of film noir, both classic era and neo, Deception will come off as irritatingly stale. What we have here is very much a case of the title revealing far too much! You would hope that with the makers going for broke with such a title then they would have the nous to fill out the story with surprises, take us and the principal characters down some twisty streets, not so, sadly. Within ten minutes you catch on to what is happening, the writing so poor as to not cleverly challenge the narrative drive. It could maybe be argued that McQuarry's journey, and how the character evolves, is something of a veer from the noir norm? But it has no dramatic worth and renders the finale as dull (the alternate ending is even worse).It's not a total wash out as such, the cast are engaging in their roles, good actors straining to make a weak screenplay work, while cameos from Natasha Henstridge, Charlotte Rampling and Maggie Q impact to come off as better than novelty value. And then there's Spinotti's (Manhunter, L.A. Confidential, Heat) cinematography, the best character in the play. His nighttime city scapes are electric, his colour lenses beautiful (golds and blues are poetic), his work deserves a better film. But that's about it, leaving us with a shallow noir cover version that's in search of its own identity. For those not familiar with the noir form, then this is just about average enough for a look see. For noir fans, though, it's neither erotic or thrilling and as unadventurous as it gets. 5/10


This was a mediocre movie that was predictable. Wyatt Bose's (a corporate lawyer) shows sudden random interest in Jonathan (an auditor) who then become friends with a week full of social engagements. Jonathan does not have much of a social life however Wyatt certainly appears to have one. I find it questionable how Wyatt suddenly is able to dedicate so much time to Jonathan. The fact that the movie is called "deception" makes it a very predictable setup. It wasn't clear to me how and why Wyatt picked Jonathan and how he plotted the entire thing. What followed was the case of simple blackmail with a predictable twist. While the acting was good, the storyline was weak.


This movie is a classic case of weak story supported by strong actors.The entire plot is given away by the title, and perhaps the movie should have been more accurately called 'The List', giving it a sinister, secret cult like feel along the lines of Eyes Wide Shut.What we get instead is an EXTREMELY predictable storyline with few surprises and plodding dialogue.You can never have a truly awful movie with the likes of Ewan McGregor and Hugh Jackman front and centre, but their talents are wasted on a truly bad script.Michelle Williams is serviceable as the extremely predictable 'girl for hire' seductress.You see the ending coming from 50 miles out, as the movie pulls the ridiculous device of playing 'this is the end of the movie' music for the next 20 minutes after you think the main hero is dead.To top it all off, after realizing his personality is essentially dead, by placing his forged passport on the body of the villain, and having no future to return to in the US, the hero walks away from 20 million CASH with the pretty call girl in tow, RIDICULOUS.The movie could have been far superior if he had instead transferred another 50 million to another bank in the same city that night, walked there with the girl at the end of the movie after killing the villain, and withdrawn the larger sum under the false identity he was travelling under! NOW they can walk off into the sunset! Maybe some playful dialogue, like "How do you feel about a really big boat???" "Response: Looks like my ship has come in!" There! BOOM!!! MUCH BETTER MOVIE!!!