From the Chicago Reader (April 1, 1998). — J.R.
As in House of Games, David Mamet tries his hand at a Hitchcockian thriller, this time exploring the chase film rather than obsessive behavior. The effect is altogether lighter — a souffle that periodically threatens to float away. Campbell Scott plays the inventor of something called the Process (Mamet’s MacGuffin), a top-secret formula his company expects to clean up on. About the time that he’s befriended by a mysterious businessman (Steve Martin), he starts to worry that he might be cheated out of a share of the profits. The conspiracies come fast and thick, but because Mamet’s interest — male gamesmanship and competition — is pretty distant from Hitchcock’s usual turf, the spectator winds up feeling less invested in the plot and characters. But this 1998 feature is fun if you’re looking mainly for light entertainment. With Ben Gazzara, Rebecca Pidgeon, and Ricky Jay. PG, 112 min. (JR)