A Perfect Murder

Less a remake of Frederick Knott’s play and Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Dial M for Murder than a variation on some of the same materials. This nasty, watchable, but instantly forgettable thriller combines Michael Douglas at his most reptilian with Gwyneth Paltrow in the classy Grace Kelly part, planting the married couple in ultraswank New York settings, throwing in Viggo Mortensen as Paltrow’s downtown lover (a character with no counterpart in the original), and adding twists to keep us from falling asleep. There’s nothing to wake us up either: this is simply efficient, routine storytelling with a high gloss but an undernourished sense of character. Directed by Andrew Davis from a script by Patrick Smith Kelly. (JR)

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