Rollicking techno daftness from John Woo

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 3

Product:

Paycheck

OPENED JANUARY 16, CERT 12A, 118 MINS

Ben Affleck is the lantern-jawed, perma-tanned preppie genius Michael Jennings, a “reverse engineer” who regularly has his memory wiped when performing confidential assignments.

After completing a job for billionaire Jimmy Rethrick (Aaron Eckhart), Jennings wakes to find three years of his life deleted and a Jiffy bag full of random objects waiting for him, instead of the expected $90m cheque. The FBI and Rethrick’s head of security (Colm Feore) appear to want him incarcerated/dead, so our sharp-suited hero is forced to go on the run while trying to figure out what the fuck’s going on.

It’s all a bit North By Northwest meets Total Recall, with the emphasis firmly on teen-friendly action rather than operatic violence. Affleck’s okay, the pace never lets up and there’s all the usual John Woo motifs: heavily choreographed action, soaring doves and a climactic two-man guns-to-the-throat stand-off. Hardly a work of genius, but it’ll do until Woo finds himself a Hollywood project that can match Face/Off.