DECEPTION (D: Marcel Langenegger). 108 minutes. Opens Friday (April 25). For venues and times, see listings. Rating: NN
Imagine after-hours romps between anonymous smouldering hot Wall Street types. In Deception, scenes like this are both a broker’s wet dreams and the spider web that gets a poor schmuck in more trouble than Eliot Spitzer.
Ewan McGregor’s Jonathan McQuarry is the schmuck, a meek auditor at a Manhattan firm whose lonely late nights at the office make him an ear-nest sucker tailor-made for Wyatt Bose (a slithering Hugh Jackman, relishing the opportunity to play against type).
The suave and calculating Wyatt is a pimp in expensive cufflinks, whose motivations are clear the moment he flashes his mischievous ear-to-ear grin and makes promises of more after-hours action than what’s offered on Citytv’s Baby Blue series.
Director Marcel Langenegger plods across formulaic ground, bluntly laying out all the tells of Wyatt’s hustle. It’s not a good sign when nobody at the office seems to know who Wyatt really is. That Jonathan is so oblivious just makes you wonder how bad he must be at poker.
Despite sleek high-def cinematography and Jackman’s dynamic performance, the film is nothing more than an obvious erotic thriller that lacks both seduction and intrigue. Deception is only true to its title when it takes surprisingly long to get where we know it’s going.