Watcher, The
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -2

Joe Campbell (James Spader), burned out and retired from the FBI and moved to Chicago after failing to catch a serial killer in Los Angeles. But dreams about causing the last victims death in an accident still haunt him. In weekly sessions with his psychiatrist, Dr. Polly Bellman (Marisa Tomei), Campbell talks about the stalking methods and victims of the serial killer named Griffin he couldnt catch. But gruesome killings begin in Chicago and Campbell recognizes the work of Griffin (Keanu Reeves). Griffin calls and begins to taunt him with pictures of upcoming victims. Each successful killing reminds Campbell of his previous failures, but Griffin plans a final showdown with Polly as the bait. A suspenseful but predictable story, viewers may find the cat-and-mouse game overly long. But Reeves and Tomei may draw out fans.

Meant to be a psychological thriller, the film touches on Campbell and Griffins mutual needs. They both need the challenge in their lives of the chase. Griffin even considers Campbell a friend. And while gore is kept to a minimum, there are still several views of bloody victims and fiery deaths. As it focuses on the tense psychological battle, even sex, a staple of the genre, is given only brief mention along with some nude sketches and an underwear catalog. The main drawback is gutter language used mostly by Griffin and his contact on the Chicago police force. Once again, the dialogue, by its use of expletives, creates a somewhat demeaning picture of authority figures. Vulgar expletives make THE WATCHER better not seen.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Distributor: Universal Pictures, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

Crude Language: Many (17) times Mild 10, moderate 7
Obscene Language: Many (36) times F-word 22, s-word 12, other 2
Profanity: Several (5) times Regular (GD 2, G, C, Csake)
Violence: Many times Moderate and severe (women grabbed roughly, man injects self in stomach, bloody bodies, gunshots, head hit w/ radio box, shoving, car chase/ wrecks, explosions, woman trapped in fire, man on fire, choking threat, man shot in leg
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: Charcoal drawings of nude women; Near nudity Few times (models in underwear in catalog)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Man looks at underwear catalog, reference to adulterous affair
Drug Abuse: Few times beer drinking, cigarettes, prescription pills/ injections said used frequently
Other: Man vomits, serial killer references need for policeman as like Buddhist concept of balance
Running Time: 93 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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