Flash Movie Review: Identity
IT SOUNDED LIKE A FUN TIME, so me and a group of friends decided to sign up for it. A charity was holding an event at a large amusement park that was about an hour’s drive away. They had rented out the park for the evening and planned on having games, music, dancing and entertainment besides the rides. I figured it would be less of a hassle to get around the park than on an average weekend day with the big crowds. Also, because they would be serving alcohol in the park, no one under 18 would be allowed. My friends and I were excited about the prospects of having an easier time riding the big attraction rides multiple times. Usually because the lines were so long for the well-known rides, one might be able to go on it only once due to time constraints. I for one do not like waiting in line for over an hour just to ride an attraction for less than one minute. My only concern was the weather; I was hoping there would be no chance of rain, causing the park to shut down some of their rides. Each of us were getting excited as the date got closer. ON THE DAY OF THE EVENT, with a clear blue sky drifting towards twilight, we piled into one car and headed out on the road towards the amusement park. I was the driver for the evening since I did not care for alcohol. While we were making our way there, we decided to come up with a game plan on how to get as many of the “big” rides in while still taking part in the charity’s planned activities. A quick survey showed most of us were excited to tackle the park’s top roller coasters first. I had heard the newest roller coaster was the ultimate thrill ride because it not only spun and swerved around the track, it also plummeted down to an underground tunnel. Some of my friends were planning on doing that ride more than once; while I figured I would go find a less stressful ride, one that didn’t have spinning as a main component. The fastest spinning I can tolerate is the speed of a merry-go-round. Our excitement increased by the time I pulled the car into the parking lot. With tickets in hand, we headed inside the park to carry out our strategy. As we got to the first roller coaster, I was the first one to notice it was not running. Maybe it was broken? We moved onto our 2ndchoice and discovered the same thing; it too was not running. Paying attention now, as we were walking around, we saw many of the “big” rides were shut down. All the excitement we had built up melted into disappointment. I experienced a similar reaction while watching this mystery thriller. DURING A TORRENTIAL RAINSTORM A GROUP of random strangers took refuge in a motel. They thought they would be safe for the night until one of the guests was found dead. With John Cusack (Cell, Grosse Pointe Blank) as Ed, Ray Liotta (Something Wild, Shades of Blue-TV) as Rhodes, Amanda Peet (The Whole Nine Yards, Griffin & Phoenix) as Paris, John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone, The Pardon) as Larry and Alfred Molina (Saint Judy, Frida) as Dr. Malick; this film festival winner was a good old fashioned thriller in the same vein as an Agatha Christie story. I thought the cast did a decent job with their acting, despite the disconnected script. Not that I did not enjoy watching this movie, I did; but I felt let down as the script started winding down to its conclusion. I thought the filming and sets added an extra level of anxiety and dread to the written words. During the picture, I found myself getting into the story with its plot twists and suspense. If only that level experienced in the beginning had lasted all the way to the end.
2 ¾ stars
Posted on October 20, 2020, in Thriller and tagged 1 3/4 stars, alfred molina, amanda peet, john cusack, john hawkes, murder, mystery, ray liotta, strangers, thriller. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.
The end is a bit hammy and eye-rolling, but the build is kind of impressive.
Long time no hear MovieMan Jackson; I hope you are safe and well. Agree with you and thanks for the comment. Take care.
I have “Identity” on DVD, and I actually like it—and the ending, too. I know a lot of people don’t like a “cop-out” ending, but I don’t see it that way. I’m also a fan of Brian De Palma’s “Femme Fatale,” which has an “it was all a dream” ending. The whole film is masterfully done, and it’s fun to watch because De Palma drops bread crumbs (clues) along the way to tell you it’s just a dream (but one that impacts the reality that surfaces at the end).
Thank you for the comments. I’m glad you enjoy this film and you mentioned one of my favorite directors! I love his work.
Again, thanks for stopping by to leave your comments. Stay safe and be well.
I love John Cusack. Haven’t seen him anything for awhile, so it’s good he’s back at it.
This is an older film; so if you haven’t seen it and are a fan of John then I would recommend it to you. Thanks for the comments; stay safe and be well.
You too! Thanks
It has been a long time since I saw this movie but my memory of it agrees with your analysis. The concept and set up were well done and it was pretty engaging but then it totally flubbed the landing. I think it is saved by having a cast of solid character actors.
Exactly right Laura. Thanks for the comments. Stay safe and be well.