, 107 min, 2008
Director: Marcel Langenegger
Writer: Mark Bomback (written by)
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Ewan McGregor, Michelle Williams
Deception is a thriller which fails to thrill, or do anything else for that matter, and contains all the excitement of watching paint dry.
Working late one night at the office, accountant Jonathan McQuarry (Ewan McGregor), a bespectacled nerd and workaholic, happens to meet lawyer Wyatt Bose (Hugh Jackman), a charming, slick, smooth operator to whom Jonathan is drawn quickly like a moth to a flame; the two bond over a late-night office pot-smoking session.
Soon, Jonathan and Wyatt accidentally trade cell phones, leading Jonathan to receive a call meant (he thinks) for Wyatt from a sexy-sounding woman asking, “Are you free tonight?” Jonathan responds to the call and, before he knows it, is thrust head-first into a deep, dark sexual underworld in which various women approach him as some sort of male escort involved in a sex club called The List, in which cell phone numbers lead to intimate encounters (sex without responsibility or relationships).
Before long, it appears that Wyatt may not be who he appears to be, that what he wants from Jonathan may not be remotely what he expected, and that it may involve one of the women from the club – “S.” (Michelle Williams).
An apparent murder of one of the women leads to Jonathan, and soon a detective (Lisa Gay Hamilton from The Practice) is on his trail. This development scarcely matters, since by the time it occurs (well before the final half begins), you won’t even care.
The film was directed by Marcel Langenegger, and written by Mark Bomback (Godsend), and bears no resemblence to an interesting plot, an involving mystery, or even cinema itself. Jackman and McGregor sleepwalk their way through a vaguely handsome-looking vaccum in which nothing remotely involving occurs, and through which beautiful woman after beautiful woman make their way (including Natasha Henstridge and Maggie Q). The deception of the title, perhaps then, refers to the film deceiving the audience into watching something boring in the name of entertainment. Don’t fall for it.