Deception ** (out of ****)

Director: Marcel Langenegger
Writers: Mark Bomback
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Rachael Taylor, Maggie Q
Rating: R (sexual content, language, brief violence and some drug use)
Running Time: 108 min
Release Date: 4/24/08

Jonathan (Ewan McGregor) is an accountant who works for a major firm. He leads a solitary existence as he travels from one company headquarters to another to audit their books. This hasn’t left him much time for a personal life. We also see that he is much more comfortable working with the numbers than with people. One night he while he is working late he meets a somewhat Wyatt (Hugh Jackman), an obnoxious lawyer, who starts a conversation. Before long they have become friends. Or, so Jonathan thinks.

Wyatt takes him out on the town. He loans him a very expensive suit that just happens to fit, perhaps, so he will fit in with Wyatt’s social life. After a short time when Jonathan is just beginning to feel comfortable in this new setting, Wyatt informs him that he will be traveling to London on work for a few weeks. As Wyatt leaves he “accidentally” picks up Jonathan’s cell phone leaving Jonathan with his.

Then Jonathan gets a call from a woman who asks to meet him a hotel. Enticed and having nothing better to do, he goes and is soon finds he’s having sex with an attractive woman. The next day Jonathan calls Wyatt who tells him about The List. The members of The List are affluent professionals who lead very busy careers who have been “invited” to a private sex club. The rules as one of his next dates explain are: “no names and no rough stuff.” For a sexually frustrated single man this seems a too good to be true but what the hell.

However, on one of these rendezvous he meets a woman (Michelle Williams) who he had seen before and to whom he was attracted. She is known as S because of the letter on her purse. Instead of the intended casual encounter, Jonathan and S have long conversation and he clearly intends to get to know her even if it breaks the rules. Once he falls in love with her the trap has been sprung.

This is a setup of course and Wyatt isn’t really a lawyer. Jonathan has just found himself ensnared in a criminal plot. As the twists unfold The List seems rather unnecessary to accomplish what Wyatt has in mind. Deception is one of those films that can hold your attention as the plot unfolds but doesn’t stand up to critical analysis in retrospect.

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