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Published On: Fri, Mar 27th, 2020

Panic Room is still a disturbing thriller but isn’t among David Fincher’s bests

David Fincher was on a run with Panic Room, the fifth film for the popular director.

Following his successful run of Fight Club, Seven, The Game, and Alien 3, Panic Room is an interesting thriller riddled with Hollywood meddling and tropes, hindering the all-star cast from greatness.

Jodie Foster stars as Meg, a recent divorcee who moves into a massive three-story New York home with her daughter (Kristen Stewart) and ultimately has to fend off three intruders played by Jared Leto, Forest Whitaker and Dwight Yoakam. Meg and Stewart’s Sarah hide in a panic room, the very panic room the thieves need to get into to steal millions stashed inside.

Fincher proves he can weave suspense around mediocre dialogue from David Koepp’s script.  A ton of profanity and a bullet to the head makes the film rated R, robbing the film of a wider audience and better storytelling.

Leto proved to be a talented actor and was squeezed into the role of a generic thug yelling F-bombs as their plan unravels. Yoakam’s Raoul is very creepy at times, channeling the menacing elements of a Fargo character with Whitaker’s Burnham being the heart of the film. As the violence escalates, the audience is pulled closer and closer to Burnham as the one criminal you start rooting for.

Like an Alfred Hitchcock film (Rear Window homages are clear), Panic Room uses an old-school tension mixed with a few mature schemed Home Alone antics to fight of the baddies.

Foster delivers a great performance (despite being a last minute casting choice when Nicole Kidman was injured), have great chemistry with the young Stewart.

The problem is the film is NOT complex or insightful, sending any deep messages or even addressing good versus evil. While it doesn’t feel predictable when you watch it, in hindsight, it ended EXACTLY as one would expect and as the AUDIENCE would like….and that’s disappointing.

Panic Room is free with commercials on VUDU APP (at the time of this writing)

Panic Room earns 7 stars out of 10 stars

The premise of the film sounds more interesting than the end product, so it does feel a bit disappointing. Compared to most Hollywood films of that time, Panic Room is very good, but compared to Fincher’s resume of films, it’s not near the top of the list.

 

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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