DON'T SAY A WORD directed by Gary Fleder, written by Patrick Smith Kelly and Anthony Peckham from the novel by Andrew Klavan, produced by Arnold Kopelson, Anne Kopelson and Arnon Milchan, with Michael Douglas, Sean Bean, Brittany Murphy, Famke Janssen and Jennifer Esposito. 100 minutes. A Twentieth Century-Fox release. For venues and times, see First-Run Movies, page 80. Rating: NN
don't say a word is a workaday New York thriller. Michael Douglas plays a brilliant clinical psychologist whose daughter is kidnapped so the bad guys, a generic ethnic cross-section led by Sean Bean (Ronin), can get a number that's locked in the head of the shrink's latest patient, an apparently psychotic teenager played by Brittany Murphy (Girl, Interrupted).The film poses a number of credibility problems. How can the swag in question, which seems to be a single ruby, be worth $10 million? Also, if Bean's character just got out of prison, how did he organize the financing for what is apparently an expensive operation, with loads of video and computer equipment and cars? Oh, and does New York's Potter's Field, where the unclaimed and unidentified are buried, actually have a little 19th-century stone gateway that says Potter's Field?
Ignore the implausibilities and it's an enjoyable time-waster, thanks to the grey New-York-in-autumn cityscapes, Jennifer Esposito's hard-as-nails homicide cop trying to figure out where these dead bodies are coming from and Bean's deepening thuggishness as a villain. Bean, who was the villain in Goldeneye, has it in him to be a great bad guy, simply because he seems so magnificently indifferent to, well, almost everything.
Don't Say A Word was directed by Gary Fleder, best known for the sub-Tarantino stylings of Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead. This is better than that; it has fewer pretensions to quality.