Angel Eyes

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What does the title have to do with the film “Angel Eyes”? Why, nothing! While I admit most of the characters have eyes, not one of them is an angel.

Already I have spoiled something the film’s distributors wanted you to believe. The marketing campaign compares the movie to “The Sixth Sense,” which is true in the sense that both are flickering lights projected onto a screen, and NOT in the sense of having a twist ending or a main character who is not as alive as you’d think. The title “Angel Eyes” is no doubt intended to make you suspect the mysterious leading man is from the great beyond, when really he’s just a weird guy.

So what IS the movie about? It’s about a Chicago cop named Sharon (Jennifer Lopez) who, in a prologue, tries to keep a man from dying after a terrible car accident. Now, a year later, she is saved from a gunman by a stranger named Catch (James Caviezel), a lugubrious fellow who stumbles around town moodily, doing good deeds and not shaving. They begin a tentative relationship based on their common moodiness, and since we have seen movies before, we understand he is the man she was saving in that prologue. So who is he, and why is he so secretive?

After a very long time, this slow-moving film gets around to forming a tenuous parallel. Just as Catch must become reconciled with himself, Sharon must kiss and make up with her abusive father and estranged family. Unfortunately, these parallel themes don’t work well together, one being too literal and the other too introspective. One senses there should be some deep meaning in the film, but it’s not here.

Jennifer Lopez is sweet and likable, though less than usual because of the dreariness of her surroundings. James Caviezel, so good in last year’s “Frequency,” manages a hint of warmth under his character’s perpetual dark cloud. But a movie with two main characters who are so dour all the time is bound to make the audience feel the same way.

C (; R, some harsh profanity, some fairly steamy sexuality, some gun violence.)

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