Keeper? I Hardly Know Her--A Forgettable Thriller About Some
K. Harris | Las Vegas, NV | 11/08/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"As several have already referenced, "The Keeper" shares many plot similarities with the much more accomplished film "The Collector." Dennis Hopper plays a deranged sheriff who kidnaps an exotic dancer to hold her prisoner. Although the motives are never fully substantiated, I presume it has something to do with "saving" her as he sees her as both a love interest and a mother substitute. Not too much suspense is generated--and if you're expecting clever banter or a cat and mouse game of intrigue between the two, that's not really going to be this movie. He ends up keeping her for a year, but again nothing interesting particularly changes in their dynamic in that time.
Hopper is relatively wooden, which isn't terrible for this role--it lends to the craziness. But he also has a public persona. He's invented a crime fighting puppet that's all the rage on TV with the kids. It's a bit peculiar, however, he doesn't seem as if he'd be very ingratiating to children. Asia Argento, never particularly compelling as an actress, is serviceable here. It's with a sense of dread that I say that Argento's might be the most believable performance in this piece. And poor Helen Shaver, as a successful TV producer or maybe a teacher (who can really tell), is a hoot. Fawning in lust for Hopper, seething in jealousy at Argento--everything that can be played to the rafters is.
The logic of the story is never really developed. A deputy who pursues Argento's case, never lets it go! In fact, one year later--he's still chasing her down on the exact day that Hopper finally decides to move her. Mind you, she was a transient exotic dancer and no foul play has been reported. It's all rather silly.
I'm being generous to give this two stars. It doesn't really deserve it. But Shaver's crazy performance was somehow endearing, and Hopper's demented puppet show near the end is fun. I know it's slight amusement, but I'll take anything. KGHarris, 11/06.
Bad rip off of Misery
K. Harris | 03/31/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is predictibly similar to Misery without any suspense or interesting plot developments. The box art for this movie is also misleading as it shows a girl locked up in a small cage. In fact it is simply a spacious jail cell that some crooked cop has in his basement. A made for Showtime movie."
Asia Argent in a Cage (Made by Dennis Hopper): Two Uniquely
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 04/08/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"`The Keeper' features Asia Argent (`xXx') and Dennis Hopper (`Speed'), two very unique talented actors. The plot of the film is not very original. In short, Dennis Hopper 'keeps' Asia Argent. Similar situation was used in `Lady in a Cage,' and later in `The Collector.' Surely Terence Stamp was so creepy and the film is still gripping with William Wyler's deft direction.
`The Keeper' Canadian-UK film takes up a similar story again with interesting cast. Asia Argent plays a dancer Gina, who is nearly murdered by a serial killer. Dennis Hopper plays Kreb, a local cop who saves her life. But Kreb is interested in Gena not only as a possible victim of murder case but as a `bad' girl who needs to be `reformed.' So who else can offer Gena a chance to reform herself and get second life? It is the sheriff Dennis Hopper, who has constructed a makeshift cage at his house's cellar ready for such education -- or abduction.
Instead of the intense mind games between Terence Stamp and Samantha Egger, `The Keeper' offers another angle to the story: point system. The sheriff gives points to abducted Gene according to her behaviors, and if she gets enough points for good conduct, she gets shower, dinner, and so on. The motive of this psychotic sheriff is not clear - and anyway Gena knows she has to facilitate the escape - Gena starts to follow the rules set by him.
Obviously it is impossible to stretch this story with limited situation, so `The Keeper' introduces a sub-plot about his job as a cop. You might say it is incredible, but Hopper's Kreb is also known as a good cop in the community, and he performs his own puppet show before the kids as anti-crime campaign, traveling around the schools. One teacher (played by over-the-top Helen Shaver) likes it (or likes him) so much that she approaches to him, promising a wider circulation and better management of the show. Interestingly, Kreb shies away from her, and seems even intimidated by her approach.
Director Paul Lynch, known for his works such as `Prom Night' and numerous TV episodes, handles everything in an autopilot way. Though the results are not boring, they also have no truly thrilling moments nor insight into the characters. The film tries to entertain us, but not quite successfully because of the predictable development and outcomes of the main plot.
Finally, Dennis Hopper and Asia Argent (who was better in `B-Monkey') are both just OK. The film itself is not terrible as thriller; it is just an OK film with OK storytelling. But what is the point of casting these actors with originality when the end results are all just OK?