MOVIE REVIEW: Disturbia
OK, lets get the standard stuff out of the way first. DISTURBIA's a blatant ripoff of REAR WINDOW. It's unoriginal, predictable, and formulaic. So on and so forth.
But hey, if you're going to rip something off, might as well do it well. And DISTURBIA does. Very well, in fact. It's formula at its best.
Acting as the film's main highlight, the underrated Shia LaBeouf once again proves how capable he is as a leading man. His character could've so easily crossed the line from likable to obnoxious, but Shia makes sure to avoid hitting that point. Props!
The supporting work is pretty solid, too. Aaron Yoo plays the obvious Asian comic relief, but he adds enough charm to the role to surpass the cliche (even if it's just a little). Sara Roemer is hot as hell as Shia's love interest. A few of their scenes together were a little too cheesy/sappy for my liking, but I'm sure many teen audiences appreciate them. At times it feels almost like the first act to a really high-budget porno. Or at the very least, it's a pretty standard teen male fantasy. It probably wouldn't have bugged me if I hadn't already seen it handled so well in THE GIRL NEXT DOOR.
Something in particular that really impressed me was the build-up to the third act. For a movie that steals so blatantly from Hitchcock, at least they were smart enough to also incorporate a style of filmmaking he pioneered. The film takes its time to get to the suspense. It builds and builds until the characters have been developed enough to make you care what happens to them, and then the thrilling 3rd act kicks into play. And man, what a rush it is. If any audience member starts getting ancy watching what seems almost like a goofy teen comedy for the first hour, the movie's intense climax should leave them satisfied. It certainly made me a happy camper.
On a final note, I just want to comment how distracting some of the product placements were. I did appreciate how they incorporated technology to various aspects of the plot (making it feel more "updated"), but there were a number of times where it just stood out too much. Particularly the opening scene, which feels like it could stand alone as a commercial for Coca-Cola. And the stuff with the Xbox 360, iTunes, PSP, YouTube, etc. - it felt like the movie was trying too hard to be hip. Sort of annoying.
7 out of 10
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