Originally written for The Stanford Daily.
This film seems to have it all. Michael Douglas, Sean Bean, and Famke Janssen, with Oliver Platt thrown in for good measure. A thriller plot, with two apparently separate mysteries coming together in a dramatic finale. Beautiful young women in danger. Explosions and killings for the guys, strong women and a tearjerker ending for the gals – the perfect date film.
It’s a good mix, but somehow “Don’t Say A Word” fails utterly to succeed as a good thriller. The premise is simple: Elizabeth, a young woman in a mental institution (Brittany Murphy), knows the whereabouts of a very expensive jewel. The bad guy, Patrick Koster (Sean Bean), kidnaps the daughter of Dr. Nathan Conrad, her shrink (Michael Douglas) and orders the shrink to get the jewel’s location from the gal. Aggie Conrad (Famke Janssen), Dr. Conrad’s wife, is bedridden with a broken leg and at the mercy of the baddies. Meanwhile, a couple of dead bodies have appeared in the river, so plucky young homicide detective Cassidy (Jennifer Esposito) is investigating.
Unfortunately, “Don’t Say A Word” has two large flaws and a host of minor failings. The script is full of abysmally clich