DVD Review: Columbus Circle
Available on DVD and Blu-ray from Monday March 5th, 2012.
Imagine a movie that has elements of Hitchcock; namely Rear Window, a dash of Pacific Heights, a touch of Largo Winch; being dubbed as a suspenseful, claustrophobic thriller. Sounds interesting… doesn’t it? Well, George Gallo’s Columbus Circle attempts to be that type of film but is it actually worth watching?
The story centres on Abigail (Selma Blair); a vulnerable, reclusive, mega-rich heiress who finds her safe, secluded world under threat when a young couple; Charlie and Lillian (Jason Lee and Amy Smart) move in next door after the previous occupant died in mysterious circumstances. Her self-imposed exile in her Manhattan loft apartment for almost 20 years means she does not mix with anyone, interacting only with the concierge Klandermann (Kevin Pollack) and her trusted family friend Dr Raymond Fontaine (Beau Bridges). However, Abigail’s meticulously constructed, private, confined environment begins to crumble bit by bit as an investigation lands the police on her doorstep whilst she unwittingly involves herself with the new couple’s domestic affairs. The nightmare is only just beginning for her, exposing Abigail to her innermost fears.
Well, what can be said about this movie? Firstly, everything about Columbus Circle screams average… at best. George Gallo’s direction (who wrote the stories and screenplays for movies such as Midnight Run, Bad Boys and The Whole Ten Yards) – average… at best. The performances of Selma Blair (Hellboy), Amy Smart (Road Trip, Crank), Giovanni Ribisi (Avatar), Jason Lee (Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back) et al – average… at best. This film does not bestow them in any sort of glory so one of the explanations for this must be the droning dialogue which is very poorly written and combine this with feeble one-dimensional characters, Columbus Circle is extremely dull and uninteresting.
This takes us nicely along to the story; which is meant to feel Hitchcockian in nature; it has mysterious characters with their own agendas and a protagonist who has to face her past but the lack of any real suspense and imaginative twists fails to drive the movie forward leaving the feeling of boring, telegraphed scenes and set pieces.
There are a few redeeming aspects mainly the 85 minute running time which enables us to watch and ultimately forgive the filmmakers for this, the finished project. If Columbus Circle ventured into 2 hour territory then this would be unforgivable and unwatchable and it would not be Abigail experiencing the nightmare – it would be us – the viewer.
This is a shame for Columbus Circle because it has an interesting; promising premise and a decent cast who do their best with the material given but is ultimately let down by the writing and structure which has a negative knock-on effect on everything else within this movie. Expect this to debut on one of the non-subscription movie channels on Sky as it is instantly forgettable. Is it worth a watch on a Sunday afternoon? Only if there’s nothing else better on.
FMV Rating **