On Paycheck

  • Paycheck exists entirely in ActionMovieWorld, where software engineers have martial arts training as part of their job, and CEOs pack guns.
  • It’s a little unsettling to watch Paul Giamatti in this directly after seeing him inhabit Harvey Pekar in American Splendor. Not because the characters are so different – Shorty is the same kind of schlub except with wildly varying facial hair – but the immediate impression is “What’s Harvey Pekar doing in this film?”
  • Early on, it becomes clear that the musings on the nature of fate in the source material have been converted into an excuse for the total lack of suspense in the modern action film.
  • After this realisation, it’s a lot easier to enjoy the film as a series of puzzles, and try to guess the answer before it appears.
  • Following on from the spate of videogame movies, it’s nice to see a movie that appears to be based on one of the old LucasArts adventure games.
  • It’s on the whole easier on everyone for Ben Affleck to be told that he has fallen in love with someone than to actually see him incomprehend his way in.
  • Chase locations that incorporate elements blatantly stuck there for the chase: good. Chase locations that are empty except for those elements: bad.
  • John Woo – still bringing the doves.