A Video Review of "Panic Room"
Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker
David Fincher is one of my favorite directors. His trail so far is red hot. Fight Club, The Game and especially Se7en were some of the best designed movies of the last decade and Mr. Fincher was responsible. I was excited to see his latest project Panic Room.
My excitement doubled when I found out the flick was written by David Koepp, the master who brought us The Shadow, Jurassic Park, Stir of Echoes and Spider-Man. The short list above doesn't include the numerous films he's 'fixed' uncredited. His skill with a script is unparalleled.
The story is pretty straightforward. Mother and daughter move into a townhouse that includes a 'panic room' that was previously owned by an eccentric millionaire whose money has yet to be found. Burglars come looking for the cash and mom and daughter hide in the panic room. You know it's coming for the first twenty minutes of the film but from there all bets are off - predictability is over.
Jodie Foster as mom is brilliant as she is in everything even stuff I despise like Contact. The daughter Kristen Stewart is adequate in what little she has to do. The real stars are the criminals. Forest Whitaker is so good you actually start to root for him after a while. Jared Leto does his best Colin Farrell imitation, sometimes even better than the real thing. Country singer/actor Dwight Yoakam is positively frightening as masked Raoul. Also look quickly for screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker as the sleepy neighbor.
Director David Fincher does not fail to impress even in this film with very few twists in contrast to his previous work. The sweeping camera angles across and over the entire townhouse are as dizzying as the frantic visual runs through pipes, vents and wires. It only serves to increase the suspense.
This is a highly underrated film by a highly underrated director, check it out.