Plot: What’s it about?
Jonathan McQuarry (Ewan McGregor) is an accountant whose life is his work, even if that doesn’t please him. He is a very lonely man and wants to find social contacts, but he is too introverted to put himself out there. He has trouble making friends, let alone meeting women for more than friendships. So his shyness controls his social life, which means his work is indeed his life. One night while working at a law office, he meets a lawyer named Wyatt Bose (Hugh Jackman). The two strike up a conversation and spark up some smoke, which leads to a quick bond between the two men. Soon Jonathan is in the same lifestyle as Wyatt, with clubs, fun, and excitement. But when Wyatt has business out of the country and the two men’s cellular phones get switched, Jonathan discovers there is more to Wyatt’s lifestyle than he ever imagined…
I didn’t expect the world from Deception, but I did think it work a little better than it does. As a thriller, Deception fails to deliver the kind of tension, twists, and atmosphere the genre demands. I don’t need a one of a kind plot and twist after twist, but some original brushstrokes are always nice, not to mention some unexpected turns. Instead, Deception falls back on genre cliches and even seems satisfied to mimic what other films in the genre have done. If you’ve seen Derailed or similar thrillers, then you’ll see all the twists and turns from the start, which is a disappointment. The predictable plot movements make it hard to get into the story, which then dooms the tension and atmosphere. I did enjoy Hugh Jackman’s over the top turn as a ruthless cad, but it wasn’t enough to save Deception from sinking like a stone. Unless you’re a diehard fan of the stars or are simply bored with no other options, Deception is a movie best left at the video store.
Video: How does it look?
Deception is presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen. I wouldn’t call this an elite level visual effort, but this transfer is very good and up to snuff. The print is pristine, which allows for a crisp, clear image from start to finish. The detail is remarkable in most scenes, but does soften a little at times. The dark visuals are bolstered by stark, well balanced contrast and while colors look a little muted, they retain a natural presence. I did see a good deal of artifacts however, which dampens the fun. Even so, this is a more than solid presentation.
Audio: How does it sound?
Not much to discuss about this DTS HD 5.1 option, as it is a basic, not memorable soundtrack. A few scenes have enhanced presence, but for the most part, this is a low key presentation. The focus is on dialogue and since vocals sound good, that is all we can ask in this case. The music does add some life as well, but don’t expect much from this soundtrack. This disc also includes Spanish and French language tracks, as well as English and Spanish subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
In addition to a picture-in-picture mode that offers some integrated behind the scenes content, you’ll some some deleted scenes, a ten minute featurette, and director Marcel Langenegger’s audio comments. His session is good, but not the most informative I’ve listen to. He covers basic production elements and while some overlap with the featurette is present, Langenegger provides a moderate amount of new insight.