Serial killers are a fountain of inspiration for the hollywood screen-writers. They are the terra incognita, something nobody knows anything about yet they all wonder.
A movie about a serial killer can be divided in four parts.
1. The initial murders
2. The hunt
3. The twist
4. The catharsis
Let`s look at “Taking lives” through this division.
Initial murders are the cause of bringing in Angelina Jolie who plays an FBI profiler. The movie takes place in Quebec (I cannot find a single reason for that but here we are. All the police officers are speaking bad english, as if that is the one and only mark of Canada) and the local police is baffled by the murders (as always). The only lead they have is a mother and an artist, who is supposed to be the next victim.
The hunt takes them up and down and around Quebec, where they mostly pick up bodies, recent work of our killer. They do find out that the killer takes over the identity of the victims and then lives their lives. Why is he doing that, remains a mystery. During the hunt the detective, the brave Angelina Jolie and the artist, played by Ethan Hawke have a one-night stand, with a bizzare sex scene. See the photo below. I guess this is their idea of safe sex.
Note how she is almost completely naked while he looks like he is going out skiing. How the hell did he get it inside of her, we will never know.
The twist is when the artist turns out to be the killer she is after. Now this fact got me seriously doubting her skills as a profiler since she was banging the guy and yet could not figure him out.
They run around screaming and there`s a scene where she takes a shower, vigorously rubbing off his scent, as if the fact that he is in fact a serial killer has something to do with the quality of their sexual intercourse.
The catharsis usually happens some months after the events that took place in the movie and consists of the killer coming back to finish the job and finds out that he is not the brightest peeble on the beach as the profiler kills him and wins the day.
“Taking lives” is no different from any other hollywood flop. It tells us nothing of the nature of the serial killer, it gives no meaningful insight. This movie is all about cheap thrills. No, not even that. This movie is a (c)heap of shit.