Wednesday, July 9, 2008

THE TWO JAKES (Jack Nicholson, 1990, USA) Jack Nicholson directs and reprises his role as J.J. Gittes, a private investigator with a conscience and samurai-like moral code. Comparisons aside, this is not a bad film though Nicholson’s directing is amateurish and rather mundane and his acting had begun to devolve into his prototypical behavior. The cinematography is sometimes excellent with grand vistas and Gittes silhouetted against a dying sunset. But the editing is a bit choppy which generates little suspense and only propels the narrative forward to its inevitable conclusion. The story is interesting because it concerns the two Jakes (Gittes and Berman) who stand by their strict moral code and suffer the consequences…all for the sake of love (though for different reasons). It’s a story about guilt and redemption, about trying to accomplish one good thing in this god-awful violent world, about sticking up for what two men believe is right. Forget it Jake, it’s not CHINATOWN. (C)

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