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Friday, December 5 12:00 AM EST

Trailer Review: Paycheck

By Brian Briggs


Starring Ben Affleck
Uma Thurman
Director John Woo
Official Site Link
US Opening

December 25, 2003

Rated PG-13
Genre Sci-Fi, Thriller
Trailer Clichés Quick-cut title splash, "This Christmas", "From the author who brought you...", "The director of...", voiceover guy
Explosions 1
Weapons Handgun, assault rifles, sniper rifle, purse, subway train
Voiceover Yes
"In a world where..."

"Hold the key to protecting his future."

Spoilage Factor 35%
Geek Factor 80% (Based on a Philip K. Dick story, reverse engineering)
See Trailer? Yes
See Movie? Yes

Colin Farrell does not have a movie coming out, but BBspot’s other favorite pretty boy, Ben Affleck, does. I will have to count at the end of the year to see who appeared in the most.

Like Minority Report and Blade Runner, Paycheck is based on a Philip K. Dick story. That guarantees that at least the idea will be interesting. Sometimes an idea can even carry a whole movie and sometimes you have to cast Uma Thurman. However, John Woo directed Paycheck, so you can expect the idea to take a backseat to pointless action sequences.

The idea is simple. We have the technology to erase and extract memories. Unfortunately, the technology is not real or we could have had Gigli erased from our memories. In the trailer Affleck is the perfect reverse engineer. He works on top secret technology then has his memory wiped, so competition cannot sue the company for stealing technology.

Aaron Eckhart pitches a new project to Affleck that will make him wealthy. Three years later Affleck has his job done. Unfortunately, for him he has no money and the feds want to know what he was working on. He only has nineteen items that he sent himself as clues to solve the mystery.


A screen grab from the trailer tells us what the project that he was working on. It's not precogs like in Minority Report, but predictive software he has created. So accurate are the predictions that the President has launched a preemptive strike against our enemy based only on this program. Wait, maybe this technology exists. It would explain a lot.

Some random thoughts:

  • The revolving camera made me nauseous I cannot imagine 90 minutes of that.
  • Ben Affleck plays Ben Affleck in this movie. Does this guy have more than three expressions?
  • There is a glowing briefcase and Uma Thurman. Are we sure Tarantino was not involved?
Oh, J-Lo, why did you ruin my career?

Conclusion on Trailer: Generic action picture trailer, with not enough Uma and too much Ben. Watch it just to get the gist of the idea.

Conclusion on Movie: There is a high likelihood that this movie will not live up to its promising idea. You are taking a risk spending your dollars on this one.

Disclaimer: BBspot's Trailer Reviews are reviews of movie trailers, not the film itself. Predictions made about the actual movie are based on the content of the trailer, and previous accomplishments of the actors or directors involved. Much like any educated movie viewer would make. Yes, we are professionals. Yes, we can tell a lot about a movie from the trailer. And yes, this is a humor site.

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