Eye of the Beholder
Someone get a diaper because the big baby has crapped again.
On the other hand, if you want hot, stinky shit shoveled down
your throat, then hurry off to the nearest cineplex to see "Eye
of the Beholder," a movie so hellbent on being high-falutin'
and artsy that it didn't bother to make a single lick of sense.
This is the thriller Stanley Kubrick would have made after getting
WARNING: This movie features Jason Priestley. Proceed
at your own risk.
The maker of this bomb is Destination Films, a dreadful company
who, judging from the previews and their previous release "Bats,"
in only interested in bombarding us with an ass-full of shit.
Consider the prospects of their upcoming comedy about an unlikable
fat woman starring Bette Midler, or a "sexy" comedy
about three men who discover they're all dating the same woman.
Whatever fucker at Destination Films gives movies the "go
ahead" needs to be fired, and then beheaded.
I will now describe the plot of "Eye of the Beholder"
in detail so you can decide for yourself if this sort of convoluted
bullshit is your cup of tea.
Ewan McGregor is an employee of the British Embassy going
by the name of "Eye." Yes, that's his pretentious name;
not quite as pretentious as "Neo," but certainly right
up there. Don't bother remembering this information because it's
entirely irrelevant. He has a vague job as a crackerjack high-tech
spy, and he corresponds with an American played by K. D. Lang,
who appears to work in a high-tech train depot. K. D. Lang has
the role Hollywood always give the lesbian: the asexual smart
aleck who, deep down inside, cares.
Lang mostly just gives McGregor information that the story
thinks it needs but has no logical way to come up with. She is
sort of like K.I.T.T. to McGregor's Michael Knight. Well, actually
K.I.T.T. was a better actor. You will note that I have capitalized
K. D. Lang. If that phony fucking country singer wants her name
in lower case, than she can print this out and go to town with
I should also mention that McGregor's lost daughter appears
in many scenes, sort of as a ghost that flits through scenes
and gives McGregor bad advice. Why? I have no fucking clue, but
it sure is an annoying gimmick.
So, McGregor is asked to spy on his boss's son, who is being
blackmailed. McGregor does, only to see him killed by Ashley
Judd as she models red lingerie. Naturally, McGregor becomes
obsessed with her because, well, fuck I have no idea why. It's
hard for me to understand having never fallen in love with a
woman who stabs someone to death then bellows "Merry Christmas,
McGregor quits his job and stalks Judd, the highpoint of this
being when we as an audience get a quick peek at her boobies.
We also see her ass early on. Both are very good.
Judd goes around killing more men, sometimes while wearing
slinky lingerie or a pretty wig. You see, Judd is a master of
disguise and easy luxury. She wears minks, travels all over to
moody hotel rooms, and she wears lots of wigs. I'm not really
sure why, except I think it is supposed to make the movie look
like "North by Northwest." Oh yeah, the movie also
has no sense of time. Months pass with no acknowledgment.
So, Judd kills another man and steals a jewel. Then she falls
in love with a blind rich guy. I don't know why, but I know they
are in love because she doesn't hack his balls off. And they
are going to get married, but McGregor is jealous and so he beats
up the blind guy. What the fuck? Oh yeah, we'll definitely root
for or care about a guy who beats up a blind man. Oh, wait, maybe
we're supposed to be rooting for the serial killer chick. I would
be willing to, if they showed her tits more than once. Instead,
she's usually modeling lingerie.
Oh, so, after beating the crap out of the blind guy, McGregor
returns to the bell tower he is residing in (I swear to God).
He tries to stop the wedding by shooting at Judd and the blind
guy's car. And he succeeds, finally killing the innocent blind
guy. What a hero!
McGregor follows Judd all over the United States, but somehow
always getting to the destination before her. Since neither of
them have any jobs, I have no idea how they afford all of this.
I also don't understand how they afford all the cars and hotels,
or how McGregor gets live-streaming video through a slow-ass
At one point McGregor goes to the insane asylum Judd used
to be in. There, he meets Genevieve Bujold, this crusty old hag
who, it turns out Judd is imitating. For no apparent reason,
McGregor asks her if she is wearing a wig, and Presto! She is.
Just like Judd. She also smokes the same fancy French cigarettes
and drinks brandy. She's also some sort of lesbian dominatrix,
but not in a sexy way at all. This has nothing to do with the
rest of the movie, by the way.
In Chicago, Judd is almost caught by the police. But, McGregor
shoots at them from a hiding place so Judd can get away. Hooray
for the good guys!
Anyway, after this stupid interlude, McGregor gets back to
stalking Judd. He tracks her all over the desert, where she runs
into Jason Priestley, a bleach-blond junkie who laughs annoyingly
and looks like a very low-rent Brad Pitt. He and Judd don't get
along but for some reason share a skanky motel cabin. She tries
to kill him, but I'm not sure why. She is knocked unconscious,
McGregor beats the crap out of Priestley and locks him in the
trunk of a car and Judd gets away.
We are now an hour and a half in and we still aren't sure
what the hell is going on. We aren't rooting for McGregor to
catch Judd. It's not like he wants to stop her killing spree.
Fuck, if I wanted to root for stalkers to capture their prey
I would have stayed home and watched "Big Cats" on
the Discover channel.
We aren't rooting for Judd to get away, either. The movie
assumes we sympthize her for killing three men, but that's bullshit
and the explanations the movie gives are weaker than the Long
Island Iced Teas at Jose O'Shea's happy hour.
We go to Alaska, where McGregor finally approaches and speaks
to Judd. Then Bujold shows up wth some cops and Bujold, still
in love with her former student, tells the cops that Judd is
not the same woman they are looking for. Judd tries to kill McGregor,
but doesn't. Why? Because McGregor loaded his gun with blanks
just two scenes earlier. He fakes like he is dead and Judd starts
crying and drives away in his car.
McGregor, not really dead, gets up and chases her on a motorcycle.
He catches up with her, but scares her off the road. She crashes
and dies. The end.
I'm not sure there is much I can say to convince you to avoid
this movie if the above didn't work, but I'll try. First, the
first half of the movie is difficult to watch because it's shown
from McGregor's voyeur perspective. We see most everything on
computer monitors and through grainy surveillance cameras. The
result is a picture and sound quality equal to the Home Shopping
Network on a faraway UHF channel. See, voyeurism is the theme.
A little of this would have gone a long way, but the makers are
too impressed with themselves and glut the first half of the
movie. In the secondhalf it disappears completely. So much for
theme, no matter how pathetic.
Is it a thriller? No, because there are no thrills. There
is no ticking clock, no reason McGregor has to catch Judd except
to satisfy his own desire. If he had to stop her from killing
someone we like more than these characters, say Slobodan Milosevic,
then maybe we would care.
But, through the magic of the movie, we have come to despise
him as a spineless, irrational pussy. So, we don't give a fuck?
And what about Judd? She kills three men for no good reason and
we're supposed to feel sorry for her. The movie does supply a
drippy explanation about a father who left her, but it's unbelievable
and feels like a cheap Hollywood plot device.
The level of pretention in this movie is something I haven't
seen since "Eyes Wide Shut." It takes itself so fucking
seriously. Director Stephan Elliott must honestly believe this
is something original. It is, but only in its awfulness. And
it's a waste of technical competence. The performances are okay
if a little dour and pouty, and the movie looks expensive. The
problem is it makes no sense.
The fucks in Hollywood need to stop being impressed with ideas
and start getting into stories. I mean, this shit is all so messy
and artsy I couldn't tell you if there was even the kernel of
a good idea within it. One fucking finger. If you want
to see a movie with Jason Priestley in it, a character lives
in a bell tower and the hero kills an innocent man and leaves
another to die, then eat up. This piece of shit will catch in