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:: Untraceable

Diane Lane stars in Untraceable. The story centres on her character Jenny Marsh, an FBI ‘cyber controller’ who is investigating a website where victims are tortured and killed, plus things like child pornographers. Things get increasingly personal for Jenny as she struggles to unmask the nutcase who uses his genius intellect and warped logic to make a point. This internet predator is displaying graphic murders on his own website - and the fate of each of his tormented captives is left in the hands of the public: the more hits his site gets, the faster his victims die. By day Jenny lives with her mother and takes care of her young daughter Annie (Haney-Jardine), by night she works alongside Griffen Dowd (Colin Hanks) in this Internet crime department.

Director Gregory Hoblit has produced some very competent, intelligent thrillers among his resume. Primal Fear in 1996 and last year's Fracture were ingenious pieces of work. However, in this movie the problems are noticeable, to the contrived and inexcusably ordinary script. Hoblit's direction saves the film from being one of total lowlights. He is the kind of director who excels in the ocular end of filmmaking, and who regularly delivers watchable-if-unspectacular films. This film references several renowned thrillers. Diane Lane is simply a beautiful and talented actress. She needs a good script and the rewards will come. But while both offer moments of genuine flair and engrossment, they are simply too few-and-far-between.

The fact that their combination created something as ordinary as Untraceable is most unfortunate. Of the others, Colin Hanks, as Dowd, shows some of the same charm his father has, and is able to come off as believable enough. The supporting cast is not up to the standards of either lead, but can be tolerated. But it is Diane Lane’s steely, smart, and beautiful heroine ably anchors the film, which also benefits from its appropriately gloomy Portland, Oregon, backdrop.

The film may be deemed unoriginal, while attaining a good level of acting and direction. However, there is the fact that the film clearly panders to the very people it condemns - those drawn to the dark side, who love to watch scenes of slow, agonising death.

In the Extras package, there are audio commentaries and several uninspiring featurettes.

DVD Extras

Audio Commentary with Director Gregory Hoblit, Producer Hawk Koch and Production Designer Paul Eads.

Featurette: “Tracking Untraceable”.

Featurette: “Untraceable: The Personnel Files”.

Featurette: “The Blueprint of Murder”.

Featurette: “The Anatomy of Murder”.