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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Columbus Circle (2012)

George Gallo, the writer behind Bad Boys, Bad Boys II, Midnight Run and My Spy also Directs occasionally. This is not his prime directive, however, and unfortunately this much is obvious. Sporting a cast that is just slightly too talented for the material but acts like it isn't, Columbus Circle never feels like value for its ten million dollar budget.

Selma Blair (how this woman continues to find Directors to give her leading roles is a riddle I feel I will never get to the bottom of) plays the part of Abigail, a young, stupidly wealthy heiress that never leaves her apartment; a high-rise penthouse on, yes you guessed it, Columbus Circle. She has a secret that she doesn't want to get out and surmises that if she never leaves the comfort of her lonely existence, then neither will her past. Something she is all too happy to conceal.

When her neighbour dies in mysterious circumstances one night, she attempts to buy the now empty apartment, hoping to gain the entire floor of the building to herself, so keen is she to expand the space for her anonymity. Before she has a chance to do so, the apartment is rented to Jason Lee and Amy Smart, a passionate couple with a tendency to argue to the point of fisticuffs.

Enter the policemen here to investigate the death. Giovanni Ribisi, inexplicably cast as Detective Frank Giardello, is the smooth-talking cynic that refuses to believe that the death was an accident and proceeds to stick his oar in where it is least wanted; at the door of Selma Blair's Abigail.

Needless to say, there is more to this than meets the eye, but not much more and certainly no more than you could reliably guess at. There are a couple of, if we're honest, fairly predictable twists The script is perfunctory and by the numbers, the plot dawdles way too much in too many places and there is little empathy for any of the characters who are far from rounded. Selma Blair either under or overacts but never finds a comfortable resting place between either, which is an unfortunate talent she seems to have mastered by this point.

With some credible supporting efforts Beau Bridges, Amy Smart and Kevin Pollak and a great little cameo from Robert Guillaume, this is not as great as most of the sum of its parts. It under impresses in almost every department, neither tense not suspenseful, it fails to really take flight as a thriller and is not clever enough to keep those watching, guessing.


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