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Perfect Stranger
Some people should not be attached to this project
Perfect Stranger
Bruce Willis and Halle Berry Star in "Perfect Stranger".
OPENING WEEKEND: $15,000,000
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $44,000,000
OTHER PREVIEWS: Alatriste (7/10)
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.

November 30th, 2006: Following the unsolved murder of one of her childhood friends, New York City newspaper reporter Rowena Price (Halle Berry) decides to go undercover to investigate the case herself. Her search leads her on a chase through the darkest corners of the Internet as she observes her primary suspect, multi-millionaire Harrison Hill (Bruce Willis). As a CEO of a powerful advertising company, Hill is a very respected and public individual, but that helps Rowena keep a close eye on him. As she jumps between various on-line and real-life personalities, she searches for any signs of guilt or weakness in her subject. With the help of an IT wiz and hacker named Miles Haley (Giovanni Ribisi) and using the anonymity of the Internet to her advantage, she hopes to finally achieve some justice as she tracks down the killer online.

What to Expect: Looking at director James Foley’s track record it is very difficult to imagine that he is the man responsible for helming the fantastic Glengarry Glen Ross, one of the finest American pictures of the 90s. Since the success of that feature, Foley has been keeping himself busy making conventional genre flicks like Fear, The Chamber, and The Corruptor. A couple years ago he had a little more success with the critics with the con scheme picture Confidence, but any meekly clever moments in that movie simply pale in comparison to Glengarry Glen Ross. Those familiar with writer-director-playwright David Mamet’s work know that it was really the razor sharp dialogue in his brilliant zinger of a script that made that picture – that and its stellar cast. As for Foley, he remains a one hit wonder and things are unlikely to change anytime soon with Perfect Stranger as his next project.

Article continues below

Superstar Halle Berry’s career has taken on a very similar path since she won her Oscar for her affecting performance in Monster’s Ball. A couple of X-Men movies, a mediocre Bond flick, and a disastrously laughable Batman comic book spin-off do not represent the type of quality one would expect to see from her following her tremendous accomplishment. Perfect Stranger is likely to bring her some headlines, but probably not as a result of her interpretation of her part. Reportedly, Berry participates in two sex scenes in the movie, but before anyone starts hoping for a Swordfish replay, I should make it clear that she does not get nude. The film is rated R, however, so the scenes are at least expected to be somewhat steamy. One scene is with Gary Dourdan, who plays her on-again, off-again boyfriend Cameron in the movie. The second one is actually a masturbation scene, with Berry performing for Bruce Willis’ character during an online chat. I suppose dealing with prime murder suspects over the web tends to be a turn on in movies of this caliber.

Perfect Stranger has been described as a movie about secrets, lies and Internet chatter, where both suspects and villains tend to reverse roles. What that really means is that the filmmakers will continuously try to pull the rug from underneath the audience’s feet with unnecessary, irrelevant, and totally unpredictable plot twists. There has already been word of a Fight Club type twist ending and in fact, Foley has shot three different endings to the film, each one with a different character emerging as the killer.


In the first version, Berry’s character is the killer. In the second version, Willis’ character is the killer. In the third version, Willis’ mother is the killer.


Essentially, that means that any lame ending could be tacked on and the film would still make sense, with all the necessary plot holes getting filled with last moment expositions just before the final credits roll.

The biggest problem that I personally have with this project is the terrible mismatch of its lead stars. I cannot possibly imagine Willis and Berry having good on-screen chemistry together, much less Berry pleasuring herself for Willis’ benefit. The combination seems difficult to imagine and a little laughable. Since the only thing the two of them seem to have in common is that they are both very famous, this is simply another example of Hollywood being more interested in having big names listed on the advertising than having two, appropriate individuals picked for the parts. Furthermore, the idea of two characters bouncing instant messages between each other seems very cheesy and rather dull, cinematically speaking.

In Conclusion: Honestly, has there ever actually been a thriller that has utilized the Internet chat premise beyond its most simplistic qualities? Just about any movie in the past that attempted to portray the Internet as some sinful and lethally dangerous zone has turned out quite disappointing. Besides Hard Candy, good luck finding anything that resembles quality filmmaking. When the spring movie season hits, Perfect Stranger will get lost in the shuffle of vastly superior pictures. Still, once word gets out of Halle Berry’s sexy time on camera, ticket sales should improve a little.

Similar Titles: Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct, Swordfish, Guilty as Sin
April 13th, 2007 (wide)
August 21st, 2007 (DVD)

Columbia Pictures

James Foley

Halle Berry, Bruce Willis, Giovanni Ribisi, Gary Dourdan, Patti DArbanville, Clea Lewis, Richard Portnow

Total: 95 vote(s).

Drama, Suspense

Click here to view site

Rated R for sexual content, nutidy, some disturbing violent images and language

109 min





Perfect Stranger at RottenTomatoes.com

Perfect Stranger at AskMen.com

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