Eye of the Beholder

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:45 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Eye of the Beholder
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Ashley Judd, Ewan McGregor, k.d. lang
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Destination Films
Release Date: 1999
Kiddie Movie: No way.
Date Movie: She might get a little scared, or might thing you’re a stalker.
Gratuitous Sex: There’s some.
Gratuitous Violence: Some quality kills.
Action: Not too much on the action side.
Laughs: Only at things that didn’t make sense.
Memorable Scene: Ashley Judd (Joanna) stabbing a dude.
Memorable Quote: None.
Directed By: Stephen Elliott

There are many ways to go for realism in a film. Sometimes you try to get shootings to look real. Sometimes you try to get acting to seem real. And sometimes you try to get scenery to look real. Now this might not make sense to anyone who hasn’t seen a Chicago police car, but I just had to chuckle as I was watching “Eye of the Beholder” when The Eye (yea, no name really, just “The Eye”) (Ewan McGregor) and Joanna (Ashley Judd) ended up in Chicago. Other than the fact that there aren’t many cobblestone streets, who told the filmmakers that the police cars had red stripes on them? I saw the Chicago rollers and there they were, painted in red instead of the blue that every person who has seen any other movie with Chicago coppers, from a film like “The Blues Brothers” to “The Fugitive,” would know. It was at this point that “Eye of the Beholder” just took a downturn from “Ehh” to “wait for cable.”

So, in “Eye of the Beholder” you have The Eye, a spy dude with a couple of screws loose because he lost his daughter who is, well, spying, on Joanna and her latest conquest. She’s not playing with a full deck either as she sort of has the black widow thing going. You know, using men for their love (and money) and then killing them. Well, after seeing Joanna and hearing voices from his lost daughter, The Eye basically bails on his spy career and turns into a stalker, trailing Joanna across the continental United States and ending up in Alaska. We get to see The Eye using his high-tech spy things to catch her words, her actions, her falling in love, and her finally seeming to have a happy life with a blind dude until The Eye messes that up. But he thinks that he is meant for her, she doesn’t really know him until it’s too late, and, well, the movie doesn’t have a happy ending except to have you going “That’s it?” At least that’s what the lady in back of me said as the credits started to roll.

There were lots of problems with “Eye of the Beholder” and none of them had to do with the acting of McGregor nor Judd. McGregor is in a roll right after the Star Wars flick, maybe so he doesn’t fall into the “Mark Hamill Syndrome.” He’s a good enough actor, playing the messed in the head spy who can’t help but try to help Joanna, but the role is stuck in a story that really ends up making little sense. Ashley Judd, still one of my favoritist actresses lately, is great as the disturbed man-killer, really just looking for someone to love her and not see her for what she is, and does her role well. But the problem comes in the story, especially on the The Eye side. Yea, he’s great at being a detective, but he’s a little, as my mom might nicely say, loony. His co-workers know this, but they don’t do anything except maybe enable him. And when he finally snaps, well, even with all the spy gear and the spy agency he works for, well, they can’t find him, which I find odd because he always wears the dingy red coat and looks disheveled. At first he seemed like a great spy, but by the end he just made me laugh, especially with his shrine of snow-globes, and his final inability to tell Joanna just who he is.

So, McGregor was good and Ashley, I’m happy to say, is a great actress with a great body and isn’t afraid to show it. But the rest of the movie, well, it was good until you realize that The Eye is basically a stalker with cool spy shit.

So, as I checked my watch during the movie I was deciding to give “Eye of the Beholder” 2 ½ stars, then came the Chicago roller’s blunder and I just can’t handle that. At least get the color right. As much as McGregor was good, as much as Judd was good (and she got naked too), I just couldn’t get over the red coloring on the Chicago cop cars and the story just seemed really dumb after that. I really hate giving this rating for an Ashley Judd movie, but it’s 1 ½ stars for “Eye of the Beholder.” It was a movie with a lot, and I mean a lot of potential, but at least give me a little bit of realism, or at least find out what color the cop cars are.

That’s it for this one. I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!