Identity (Special Edition) [Import]
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What if every choice we ever make was already made for us? What if there really were no coincidences in life and our destinies were already predetermined? Ten strangers with secrets are brought together in a savage rainstorm: A limo driver (John Cusack), an '80s TV star (Rebecca DeMornay), a cop (Ray Liotta) who is transporting a killer (Jake Busey), a call girl (Amanda Peet), a pair of newlyweds(Clea DuVall and William Lee Scott) and a family in crisis (John C. McGinley, Leila Kenzle, Bret Loehr), all take shelter at a desolate motel run by a nervous night manager (John Hawkes). Relief in finding shelter is quickly replaced with fear as the ten travelers begin to die, one by one. They soon realize that, if they are to survive, they'll have to uncover the secret that has brought them alltogether..
The Identity DVD features are not quite as enticing as they sound. Of chief interest is the extended branched version of the film (available in widescreen only), but there's only one added scene (an interesting but not critical minute-long sequence that would have been the first conference-room scene), and the differences in the alternate ending are so subtle that you'll miss them if you literally blink a few times. There's no question it could affect audience perception, but unlike most alternate endings, it doesn't affect the actual outcome. (See spoiler for more information.) The four deleted scenes (which don't include either of the above-mentioned additions) aren't that exciting, and the optional director commentary notes that these deletions generally served to cut moments of character and comic relief in favor of moving the story along, which is one reason the film runs a brisk 90 minutes. James Mangold's director commentary on the feature is good, though, as he discusses such matters as the logistics of the perpetual downpour and a crucial bit of dialogue removed from the film's climax. Considering that downpour and the contrasting darks and lights of the film, picture quality is good, and the thunder claps sound great in 5.1 sound so there are no complaints about the DVD's presentation of the film itself. --David Horiuchi
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Top Customer Reviews
The movie, until the twist, is a somewhat suspenseful and creepy reinvention of the slasher genre. Even so, it still falls for all of the old clichés (there always has to be a hooker in these films for some reason) and you could time an oven by the rate at which characters are killed (one every nine minutes) This is easy to overlook as surreal coincidences and events seem to be foreshadowing that some sort of supernatural power is somehow involved in the killings.
Then the plot twist happens. Not only is everything that happens in the movie meaningless, but every character turns out to be imaginary. That's right, the big twist is that the whole movie is a battle between multiple personalities in some fat guy's head. I had no idea the subconscious of a crazy person was so rainy.
Without giving away spoilers it's a little hard for me to describe exactly what it is about this movie that I disliked so intensely, but at its heart my problem is with the central contrivance of the script, which becomes apparent about 20 minutes into the film. The film asks the viewer to speculate on what might or might not be real. The problem with this as a plot device is: if it's not real, do I care what's going on? Superior writers manage to overcome this (for example, Charlie Kaufmann does a pretty bang-up job most of the time with completely unreal scenarios, but it doesn't matter because the purpose of the unreality is to focus the viewer on something else that's important, although he likewise came unstuck in the third act of "Adaptation" for the same reasons). The problem in "Identity" is that the script revolves around trickery that ultimately serves no purpose. If nothing is as it seems, and the characters aren't particularly likeable, and none of this is going toward any larger view, what the heck is the point? "Identity" becomes a very irritating exercise in style. Unfortunately it's not that stylish.
The cast can't be faulted - all excellent. And the direction is fine. What a pity the script is so awful. I truly loathed this film.
Story: A group of different people wind up at a run down motel in rainstorm and eventually people start dying. There doesn't appear to be any link to the strangers until they find out that they all have a common link John Cusak is really good in his role and I found a new bit of respect for Amanda Peet, she was also rather entertaining to watch. The director (James Mangol) makes sure that you never really get a chance to relax, he makes sure something is happening the entire movie, that is in my opinion what truly keeps your entertained.
The ending is definitely a weird one but if you keep on paying attention then it will make sense if you truly think about it. A lot of people were complaining about the ending but I liked it, something new and refreshing. I can truly recommend this movie and suggest that you pick it up if you get a chance.
Since all that happened at the hotel was imaginary, I don't feel that I should have to describe that action. I will say this, altough I'm sure such a nuance point was not in the mind of the director or screenwriter, he lack of plot, craziness, inconsistencies, symbol objects such as a key,the curious amount of rain in Nevada, killings, does point to the imaginary ramblings of psychotic killer.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
J'ai déjà vu ce film et je voulais l'obtenir. Les acteurs sont impressionnants et quelle belle brochette d'acteurs !Published 10 months ago by chantal trottier
Identity is a great movie I loved it when I first saw it I thought right away I have to buy it and I am happy I did its a must see and own movie try watching it you wont be... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Melissa
My family loves psychological thrillers, so when my father mentioned "that movie with that guy and a bunch of other people in that wierd motel and it was raining... Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2010 by WryGrin
YES. HEH, HEH, HEH. EXQUISITE. THIS IS TRULY A MASTER MOVIE OF SUSPENSE, THRILLS AND TWISTS. NOT TO MENTION THE EXCEPTIONAL ACTING FROM THE ENTIRE CAST. Read morePublished on Aug. 12 2004 by jason
One of the best psychological thrillers made since Jacob's Ladder. This ensemble cast is perfectly blended to offer the right mix of fresh talent (Amanda Peet and Jake Busey) and... Read morePublished on July 19 2004 by frisky2000
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