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I'm not a film critic, but I'll tell you what I think about the movies I watch. I enjoy understanding the history behind the movies we watch, as well as the collaborative effort necessary to produce movies.

Paycheck


Paycheck (2003)

Directed by John Woo

Starring: Ben Affleck, Aaron Eckhart, Uma Thurman, Paul Giamatti

John Woo, the director of Mission: Impossible II and Face/Off took on this movie based on the short story written by the late Philip K. Dick. The author, who passed away in 1982, also wrote short stories that have inspired The Adjustment Bureau, Minority Report and Blade Runner. The movie stars Ben Affleck, Aaron Eckhart, Uma Thurman, and Paul Giamatti.

When Jennings, a talented engineer, gets the job offer of a lifetime there isn’t much doubt about the decision. When he meets a beautiful researcher (Thurman) the choice is made. The catch of this incredible opportunity is that he’ll have no memory of the job when he’s done. When Jennings wakes up from this job he finds himself on the run from the FBI and a group of unknown killers. Now he has to rely on the clues he left behind for himself to reconstruct the past and save himself.

This movie was fun to watch and had an intelligent plot to go along with the action. The acting is good but not great, but the action makes up for a lot of that. While it’s not his best performance, Ben Affleck does a convincing job in his role. Paul Giamatti, Aaron Eckhart, and Uma Thurman are also decent in their roles.

Visually it’s an interesting movie. The special effects in the film and the rest of the visual work is also good. John Woo definitely makes his mark on any film he makes.

The critics were mixed on their reviews, but in the end they remained negative. Roger Ebert stated that he “enjoyed the movie”. He gave the film two stars (out of four), saying that the film “exploits [Philip K. Dick’s story] for its action and plot potential, but never really develops it.”

The downfall of this movie might be the lack of follow through on the premise of the film. With the idea behind the movie there was much more that could have been pulled from the story.

This is a fun movie and I can recommend it to anyone who likes a unique premise. If you enjoyed Minority Report this might be a good movie for you. I give this one 2.7 out of 5 stars.

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 119 minutes

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12 Comments on “Paycheck”

  1. Morgan R. Lewis February 4, 2012 at 11:39 PM #

    I agree that this film could have done a lot more with its premise, and it has certain weaknesses. But like you, I thought it was fun; seeing the little clues and mementos pay off is very satisfying.

    Like

  2. Nick February 11, 2012 at 1:03 AM #

    I always wanted to say this….Affleck did this for the paycheck. What crappy adaptation of a Phillip K. Dick novel. Sad Panda

    Like

    • jeffro517 February 11, 2012 at 2:05 AM #

      I’m not sure that it was that bad. At the time people tried to compare it to Minority Report which was a better film. When you take away that comparison it wasn’t that bad.

      Like

      • Nick February 11, 2012 at 9:01 AM #

        I have always looked at that movie through the prism of having read the material of Phillip K Dick, so I am a bit more critical about it than most. I like John Woo flicks and as a popcorn movie, it is ok.

        Like

      • jeffro517 February 11, 2012 at 9:13 AM #

        On this we agree, I wouldn’t have nominated this for major awards or accolades. It’s simply a fun film.

        Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] on a Philip K. Dick short story, so if you’re a fan of films like The Minority Report or Paycheck this one might be for you. I give this movie 4 out of 5 […]

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  2. Total Recall | Did You See That One? - August 8, 2012

    […] screen time and time again. The list of films that have pulled from his work include movies like Paycheck, Minority Report, and The Adjustment Bureau just to name a few. This time his story, We Can […]

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  3. The Manchurian Candidate (2004) | Did You See That One? - August 27, 2014

    […] Richard Condon. This time the screenplay was written by Daniel Pyne (Fracture) and Dean Georgaris (Paycheck). Oscar winner Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs) directed this one. The cast includes […]

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  4. Minority Report | Did You See That One? - October 21, 2014

    […] of other Philip K. Dick stories-turned-film. (Total Recall, Blade Runner, The Adjustment Bureau, Paycheck) This is also a good one for fans of Cruise, Farrell, or any of the other actors in it. This does […]

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  5. Face/Off | Did You See That One? - January 13, 2015

    […] by Mike Werb (The Mask) and Michael Colleary (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider), and directed by John Woo (Paycheck). The cast features Nicolas Cage (Moonstruck), John Travolta (Pulp Fiction), Joan Allen (The Bourne […]

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  6. Jason Bourne | Did You See That One? - August 6, 2016

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  7. Sully | Did You See That One? - October 27, 2016

    […] by Clint Eastwood (American Sniper). The film stars Tom Hanks (Saving Mr. Banks), Aaron Eckhart (Paycheck), and Laura Linney (Absolute […]

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