Great Richard Norton performance in a diverting caper!
W. Gantt | Birmingham, Alabama United States | 04/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Novelist Jill Reeves (Kari Keegan) emerges from a bout with amnesia to learn that she's married to brash Texan Carter Tallerin (Richard Norton) who cheerfully asks her for both a divorce and a percentage of her next best seller. Not anyone's
idea of an author, Carter insists he contributed to Jill's novel.
Jill's cynicism about Carter's claims including their marriage
compels her to uncover a thieves' den of unsavory characters
including her brother (James Wilder) who may be plotting against
her. Amnesia and suspect husbands are not unusual plot devices, but emerging film writer David Lasdon infuses his comedy of scoundrels with the kind of fresh angles and dialogue that make
"Mind Games" a five star entertainment.
Lasdon also keeps the financial stakes low, when compared to
the usual Hollywood "con job" movies, so he can weave an intriguing mystery with small time grifters. The central culprit
is never much in doubt, but the suspense builds over how far and
to whom the network of deception extends. The plot surprises are delivered by a superior ensemble cast who never miss a beat under Adrian Carr's shrewd direction. Carr previously directed Norton in the swift action film "The Sword of Bushido," and he served as a consultant for the great actor's work as producer and lead in "Under The Gun." Equipped with Lasdon's witty lines and Carr's knowing direction, Norton makes Carter Tallerin the delightfully dark heart of "Mind Games."
Contrary to most of the renown martial artists in the movies, Norton also champions acting. After his remarkable debut as a cloaked ninja in "The Octagon," Norton built an enduring screen career on his diverse roles as the Anglo villain in Jackie Chan movies ("City Hunter," "Mr. Nice Guy") and as the heroic lead in action films, often co-starring Cynthia Rothrock ("Rage and Honor"). His talents have eclipsed the action genre, and with Carter, Norton renders a tour de force portrait of the comedic rogue. The success of his pivotal performance guarantees Lasdon's caper as must-see entertainment for audiences craving a break from Hollywood's current fare of predictable sequels and TV show makeovers. If any cinematic character in recent memory merits a sequel, it's Norton's rascally Texan, but in the meantime, "Mind Games" is happily available for well-deserved encore viewings. Every return to "Games" reveals another nuance
and another opportunity to applaud the considerable talents of all involved.