Don't Say a Word
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that a Michael Douglas movie called
Don't Say A Word WASN'T about sex.
I mean it stars Michael Douglas! This is the guy who had kinky sex with
Glenn Close in the erotic thriller Fatal Attraction, kinky sex with
Sharon Stone in the erotic thriller Basic Instinct, kinky sex with Demi
Moore in the erotic thriller Disclosure and eventually was reported to
have gone into rehab for being sex addict. So Michael Douglas in a movie
that stars a very young and pretty Brittany Murphy called Don't Say A
Word sure as heck sounds like one more Michael Douglas sexual thriller.
Brittany's taunting tag line "I'll never tell" gives you the entire
plot, or so I thought. Michael's having kinky sex with Brittany Murphy
in an erotic thriller and he needs her to promise that she won't tell
anyone. Sounds awesome! I can't wait!
Damn me if I wasn't totally off the mark.
Turns out it has nothing to do with sex at all! The closest Michael
gets to a naked woman is when he begins to give his wife's leg a sponge
bath in bed (she's got a broken leg in a cast throughout the movie).
Want the real plot? Here we go:
Ten years ago, a bunch of bad guys broke into a bank and stole a red
diamond worth a gagillion dollars. Not sure what they expected to do
with it, I mean you steal the world's only red diamond, it's gotta be
hard to find someone to buy it who doesn't realize it's stolen, which
means I guess they were gonna stuff it into one of those little glass
display boxes and stare at it in awe for a few years. Anyway, they steal
it, then some bad guys betray other bad guys and everything goes all to
heck and nobody's happy and everyone either goes to jail or dies, and ten
Enter Michael. He's a psychiatrist. He takes on a new patient, little
eighteen year-old Brittany Murphy, who has been diagnosed with every
mental malady known to man, and most of the ones known to woman. Next
thing Michael knows, his daughter is kidnapped and he's told that if he
wants his little girl back, he needs to pry a six-digit number out of
There ya go. Sprinkle tension. Stir.
To be honest, it's not quite enough to keep an action movie going
forward, so they sprinkle some other things into the mix. Michael's
wife, Famke Janssen, is immobile in bed with her broken leg. Naturally
something's gotta happen to her. A bunch of dead bodies begin to show up
in the river, so there's a pretty cop who looks far too much like Famke
Janssen for the movie's own good that starts to look into things. Stuff
There is nothing overly bad about this movie. And in fact, I became
quite engrossed into the film as I sat there, enjoying myself completely
once I got over my disappointment that it wasn't an erotic thriller.
However, once I left the theater, I began to think.
The movie is a bit like one of those Magic Eye paintings. The more you
look at it, the clearer things get and the more you realize this wasn't
nearly as cool as you thought it'd be.
The kidnappers have cameras all over Michael Douglas's home, see
everything that goes on in there. Which leads us to the question: how
the heck did they manage to set up those cameras? I mean sneaking into
the house and kidnapping the kid while the parents are asleep is one
thing, hooking up video equipment in every room of the house while
they're asleep is something else entirely. And it's not like they ever
had a chance to work when no one was home, Famke Janssen CAN'T WALK. She
spends every waking moment in bed with a broken leg. Doubt she ran out
for a quick game of wiffle ball any time recently.
There are other plot devices that don't quite add up, but to explain them
would give some twists away, and the movie IS watchable, and therefore I
don't feel the need to ruin anything.
The movie also follows the fatal flaw of having getting the main
character into a spot so tight they can't find a way to get them out.
Jurassic Park 3 did this when it surrounded Sam Neill and company with
man-eating raptors. Luckily, Michael Douglas doesn't have to whip out
the old hollowed-out Raptor skull to get out of his predicament, but it's
a bit of a let down, all the same.
Still, as I continue to say, the movie isn't lame. Just do yourself a
favor if you see it: Don't try to think about it afterwards- you'll
spoil the moment.
Don't Say A Word gets 3 1/4 Babylon. It might have earned more if it
didn't have such a lame title. I mean the title is Don't Say A Word and
the tag line is I'll Never Tell. Kinda redundant, isn't it?
Don't Say a Word
Directed By: Gary Fleder
Starring: Michael Douglas, Brittany Murphy, Sean Bean, Famke Janssen,
Oliver Platt, Jennifer Esposito and not a single ice pick in sight.