You'll recall Mr. Ripley from Matt Damon's "The Talented Mr. Ripley", which was a movie I had enjoyed for its rhythm but not for its very predictable plot.
This sequel of sorts, with Malkovich playing a more mature Mr. Ripley, is in a similar vein -- not so much of a proforma thriller but more of a field trip inside a criminal's black mind -- but it holds its own pretty well.
As the effortless screenplay sways between the sprawling Italian countryside and the busy architecture of Berlin, we are somehow left rooting for a couple of mincing murderous creeps.
Malkovich's rendition of a mature Ripley sports a fascinatingly life-like rhythm. Our crook leads an immaculate life of the perfect gentleman connoisseur. We find him bicycling, practicing yoga, and, yes, sewing in bed. Even after torching a corpse-filled Mercedes, he takes time out to call his florist. Lecter Hannibal, anyone?
The film is deliciously subtle and yet suspenseful enough to hold your attention for its entire duration. It's a pretty decent rental.