The Brunching Shuttlecocks Features

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 years pass.

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 Brittany's head.

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 like that.

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
Rated: R
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.

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