Movie review: Ripley’s Game

I just finished watching “Ripley’s Game”, the sequel to “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” Overall, I give this movie a C+. John Malkovich plays his character well, but his character is just uninteresting. He’s uninteresting compared to the younger Mr. Ripley (played by Matt Damon in the first film) and he’s uninteresting on an absolute level as well. The older Mr. Ripley doesn’t have the problem of a conscience, something we see him struggle with in the first movie. No, in this film he’s without morals AND without a conscience. The guy who COULD have saved the film and made it more interesting is the guy who plays opposite Malkovich. Could’ve, should’ve, would’ve but unfortunately he doesn’t. He’s basically tricked into becoming a murderer for some money by Malkovich’s character and by an unruly friend of Malkovich’s who is looking for a rookie killer. And then, surprise, surprise, he realizes that being a murderer doesn’t stop after a two day trip to Berlin. The guy who plays opposite Malkovich is, I guess, in a similar position to Ripley in the first movie but he’s a bundle of loose ends in the movie. Why does he take the job for the money? Is he not conflicted about it? After the first murder, how does it change him? Why does he take the second job? Why does he develop such a camaraderie with Malkovich’s character by the end of the movie (at certain points during the movie, it’s like they are busom buddies)? How does he just happen to know how to whack a guy over the head with a gun so as to knock him out? Unfortunately, these loose ends, in the end, detract from what I think the director wanted this movie to focus on: Ripley’s character. Again, Malkovich was great, but the movie was like that year old bottle of soda in the cabinet that you pull out for a party: completely flat.

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