Paycheck

Judging from the reviews and IMDb comments, it seems I’m the only person that likes this movie. Paycheck is based on a Philip K. Dick short story — he wrote a ton of them — and is about the futility of being able to see into the future, even if we could.

The movie doesn’t get too wrapped up in the contradictions of seeing the future — if we can see it, and we have the ability to choose, is it really the future? — but focuses instead on the characters and the immediate story-line.

Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman are the main characters. Affleck is an engineer who usually does reverse-engineering of other company’s products and then has his memory erased — yeah, I know, suspension of disbelief — to protect companies against patent infringement and the like. Then he takes an assignment that we later find out is to design a machine that sees into the future.

Knowing his life is in danger as the project is about to wrap, he sends himself an envelope to be opened after his memory is erased and he figures out how to use each piece to protect his life. It’s more interesting than it sounds and John Woo does a good job with the action sequences, as you would expect. He even manages to work in his trademark white doves.

Not a movie to break out the champagne over, but not a bad flick and good for its kind.

8/10

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