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'Angel Eyes': Dim Vision

By Rita Kempley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 18, 2001


    'Angel Eyes' Jim Caviezel and Jennifer Lopez star in "Angel Eyes."
(Warner Bros.)
When she's not slamming thugs the size of sumo wrestlers upside the hood of her squad car, Jennifer Lopez's butt-busting heroine in "Angel Eyes" is boo-hoo-hooing in the privacy of her lonely room. J-Lo is Jell-O on the inside.


Director Luis Mandoki, whose previous credits include the hankie-sopping "Message in a Bottle," can't seem to decide what kind of movie he wants to make: A ghost story? (There are shades of "The Sixth Sense" here.) Perhaps a gritty urban buddy-cop drama? A tale of family dysfunction? A romance uniting two lost souls?

The answer is E: all of the above. The consequence: The audience hasn't the slightest idea what is going on. That can be good, if the filmmaker has some idea in mind, like a kid who sees dead people. But Mandoki doesn't have anything new to contribute to this puree of genres.

The movie opens with twisted metal, sirens blaring, red lights reflected in the rain-glossed street, a beautiful Chicago cop seen through the eyes of the grievously injured driver. Sharon Pogue, a comely Chicago police officer with melting chocolate eyes, holds the unseen man's hand while urging, "Stay with me. Stay with me."

About a year later, we catch up with Sharon and her partner (Terrence Howard) in the middle of a chase. When Sharon is attacked from behind, a mysterious stranger, Catch (Jim Caviezel), comes to her rescue. As he gently pulls her to her feet, she stares into his ethereal blue eyes. There's obviously a connection between them. Who is this gorgeously disheveled savior?


Although Sharon has been shunned by her family for having her abusive father arrested, she overcomes her fear of intimacy and begins to fall in love. Inevitably, she is forced to face her father when he and her mother (Sonia Braga) renew their wedding vows. Sharon reluctantly attends and attempts to make amends with her father, concluding with an appalling apology to the horrid old man.

Luckily, the two leads do share some sizzle. If only the filmmakers could decide between the frying pan and the fire.

"Angel Eyes" (103 minutes) is rated R for language, violence and a scene of sexuality.


Copyright 2001 The Washington Post Company

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