The Spanish Prisoner (1998)

Written and Directed by David Mamet
Starring Campbell Scott, Steve Martin, Rebecca Pidgeon, Ben Gazzara, Ricky Jay

My Advice: Wait for MST3K.

All is not what it seems in this new film from David Mamet.  It seems like a can't lose.  In this, Joseph Ross (Scott) has created The Process which is going to revolutionize his company and make them oodles of bucks.  But the thriller bit is that everybody wants his Process.  Unfortunately, this guess-what-plot-turn-is-next thriller is anything but thrilling thanks to terrible pacing and its ponderous two hour length.  Not making things any easier is the fact that the majority of said twists are seen thirty minutes before the protagonist picks up on them, including one ridiculous scene where a woman in line at the airport chastises her son, all the while saying the words that are supposed to clue Scott into what we figured out a half hour back.  She says the words over and over and over again, almost as if Scott has forgotten his cue before we see the light bulb turn on.  Ludicrous.  By the time the deus ex machina appears at the end to wrap everything up, the joy I felt was that somehow/anyhow the film was going to end.  I really didn't care how at that point.  All the actors are adequate in their roles, but there's really nothing to get excited or anxious about, which again makes me wonder why it's classified as a thriller.  Sigh.

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