Film, Fantasy

Time Out says

In Paycheck, the amount offered to ace reverse-engineer Michael Jennings (Affleck) to effect one of his speciality semi-legal high-tech rip-offs is a paltry $93m and a memory wipe. You could hardly make a John Woo sci-fi thriller for that. Well, you just might if you concentrated the action in one Bond-like mega-set and rationed the contra-flow car chases, fireballs and terminus getaways. In his adaptation of Philip K Dick's 1953 short story about a machine that can read the future, Woo choreographs all the aforementioned with his customary muscular élan, but there's a sense of treading water about this movie. Further, the self-referential tropes - the face-off gun duels, slo-mo bullet trajectories and the like - seem less like cinematic in-jokes than nervous insurance policies, delivered with an absence of humour. Yet for all the inevitable inconsistencies and implausibilities of the script, this ain't all bad. The design is good; Affleck is at his least smug and nauseating. And Thurman, as the kick-boxing biologist lover who helps fend off both corporate assassins and FBI, wields the meanest handbag since Jack Lemmon.


Release details

119 mins

Cast and crew

John Woo
Dean Georgaris
Aaron Eckhart
Peter Friedman
Joe Morton
Michael C Hall
Uma Thurman
Ben Affleck
Kathryn Morris
Paul Giamatti
Christopher Kennedy
Ivana Milicevic
Colm Feore