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Paycheck in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Paycheck

Ben Affleck • Uma Thurman

In this excellent thriller, Ben Affleck portrays Michael Jennings, an engineering genius who is hired by corporations for specialized top-secret projects. Once the job is over, Jennings has his memory erased so that he won’t divulge any company secrets. But now he’s being hunted, and he doesn’t remember why – he only has a manila envelope, that contains objects that turn out to be clues, that he mailed to himself before his memory was erased and, racing against time, he must piece the puzzle together before he’s killed.

U.S. RELEASE: December 25 2003, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13


“I thought this film could be a very suspenseful, romantic and fun movie. It was clever, with good gags and big surprises.”

BEN AFFLECK on the fact that this movie is reminiscent of The Bourne Identity:
“Interestingly enough, John went to Matt (Damon) first for the movie, because he saw The Bourne Identity and loved Matt in it. Matt was flattered and met with John Woo. But when he sat down and read the script he was like, I can’t do two amnesia pictures, people are going to say, ‘Why are you doing so many amnesia pictures?’ But he called me and said, ‘I met with John and there’s a really good script, you should check it out.’ As luck would have it, John was in New York to meet with Matt and flew back to Los Angeles, and on the plane the movie they were showing was Changing Lanes. I got offered the movie when he got back. I’d just heard from Matt, and I was like, ‘You’re kidding.’ It was serendipitous.”

UMA THURMAN (Rachel Porter):
“I got to play the girl in this movie, so I had a really nice time. Ben did all the heavy lifting. I got to watch John Woo work and Ben hit people. I wasn’t covered in blood like I was in Kill Bill. Ben handled the action superbly. I play a biologist, so the few things that I do in the action are very street self-defense.”

“There’s no question that Uma was tougher than me. I was doing a fight with a stick in the movie with a sideways look to her. What do you think? How was that? Pretty good, huh? She’s a real professional. She’s done countless movies with countless directors, and it shows in her work. She keeps you on your toes.”

“I wanted to make a movie in the Alfred Hitchcock style. Several scenes in the movie pay homage to his films. There’s a scene where Ben is chased by a train, where the camera angles and the atmosphere were inspired by North by Northwest, when Cary Grant was being chased by a plane. This whole movie has the feel of 39 Steps.”

“John Woo’s filmmaking style is masterful. I think he’s one of those directors where you talk about his movies as cinema. I’ve spent my whole life watching filmmakers work and it’s about passion. I like to be in those kind of hands.”

AFFLECK on whether he and Jennifer Lopez will be getting married:
“I’ll answer that question because I do think that it’s important. Now that it’s legal in Massachusetts, Matt and I have set a date. We’re getting married New Year’s Day in Province Town.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © Paramount Pictures
Feature © 2003 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #639, January 2004 cover

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