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EYE SEE YOU
Reviewed January 16th, 2003 by David Nusair

 

Eye See You wasnít originally supposed to debut on home video. It was a planned theatrical release that was originally due to hit in 1999, but kept getting delayed. It was, however, released overseas under itís original title, D-Tox. Now, after a few years and the name change, Eye See You finally comes to North America. But, as it turns out, it really should have stayed unreleased.

Sylvester Stallone stars as Jake Malloy, an FBI agent working the case of a seemingly unstoppable cop killer whoís already killed nine times. The pursuit turns personal, though, when the assailant kills someone close to Malloy Ė a murder that provokes him into becoming a drunk. Months pass, and Malloyís close friend Hendricks (Charles S. Dutton) signs him up for a stint at a new detox center that caters to cops only. Itís located deep in the wintery mountains, completely isolated from civilization Ė so itís not too surprising that the cop killer follows Malloy there, where he starts offing the various patients (and even a few employees of the joint).

Eye See You is easily the worst film Stallone has ever made, which is truly surprising given the cast heís surrounded with. Along with Dutton, the movie is peppered with familiar faces like Robert Patrick, Kris Kristofferson, Dina Meyer, Tom Berenger, and even Jeffrey Wright (who looks somewhat ashamed to be in this kind of a film). Still, even with such talent in abundance, the film winds up an overblown mess Ė due mostly to the ridiculously convoluted and cliched screenplay by Ron L. Brinkerhoff and director Jim Gillespieís over-the-top sense of style.

Letís start with the script. Not only is it a mishmash of virtually every single thriller thatís come before it (not to mention a few horror movies), but none of the characters are developed beyond the superficial. And since the film expects us to spend an hour with these people, thatís certainly a very bad thing. Essentially, each one of these characters exists to serve one purpose: To behave suspiciously enough so that Malloy believes that each one of them could be the killer. So, we wind up with a group full of stock cliches; thereís the tough guy, the scared guy, the crazy guy, etc. And as if that wasnít bad enough, the movie isnít even smart enough to allow these characters to remain true to themselves. Robert Patrickís character is a fierce and unforgiving cop who spends the bulk of the film picking fights with others and generally acting like an all-around jerk. But when his death scene comes, heís reduced to sniveling like a little baby and begging for his life Ė even though heís within reach of the gun, and couldíve easily fought with the killer. Itís stupid.

The storyline certainly isnít much better, which apes a variety of better movies Ė from Aliens to The Thing to any movie featuring a lot of characters trapped in a small location with a killer. But thatís not even as bad as it gets, since thereís an entire subplot featuring Charles S. Dutton trying to get to the detox center (heís figured out that something is very wrong). Itís extremely snowy, so his efforts to get out there are proving fruitless until he commandeers a big snowmobile-type vehicle. Sound familiar? Thatís exactly what Scatman Crothers was going through in The Shining to reach the hotel (at least Eye See You doesnít rip this off completely, and allows him to survive once he gets there). Gillespieís direction doesnít help matters, as heís apparently from the Michael Bay school of moviemaking. Though the material would be far better suited to a restrained approach, Gillespieís determined to turn Eye See You into the latest slick action movie. But by filming everything as though he was making Bad Boys 2, he renders a lot of sequences as either indecipherable or just plain annoying. By the end of the film, watching Eye See You is about as pleasant as a forced root canal.

Eye See You is a mess, plain and simple. Though Stallone is actually pretty decent here, the film just doesnít work on any level. Donít be fooled by the impressive cast list Ė Eye See You is pure junk.

Audio: Faring substantially better is this DVD, starting with the audio. Presented with a DD 5.1 soundtrack, Eye See You sounds great. This is essentially a creaky horror film, and all the little sounds are here. The movie makes great use of the surrounds, from the windy weather to the water dripping inside the facility.

Video: This 2.35:1 anamorphically enhanced transfer is just as impressive, clean and crisp all the way through. Eye See You is an incredibly dark movie (literally), which must have been a challenge when transferring it to DVD, but it looks great.

Extras: Not surprisingly, thereís no commentary to be found here. But there are some other extras thatíll probably please fans of the film, if there are any. First up are eight deleted scenes, presented widescreen with all that timecode stuff still on them. Theyíre about as effective as the film itself, if that tells you anything. Next up are a set of interviews with all the major cast members, except Stallone. In interviews ranging from a minute to three, they talk about the various elements that went into making the movie. Duttonís comments are especially unfortunate, as heís quite certain that audiences will really love the film.

Conclusion: Though the movie sucks, this DVD should please those who actually want to own it.

 

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