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'Red Lights' Falls Flat Towards Its End

Published: Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Updated: Thursday, August 9, 2012 14:08

Red Lights

Starring Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Cillian Murphy

Directed by Rodrigo Cortes

Rated R

Opens Friday

Grade: C+

After the first tension building 90 minutes of “Red Lights,” this thriller’s poorly executed ending will leave you disappointed.

Director Rodrigo Cortes (“Buried”) has a star-studded cast that included Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver, Cillian Murphy and Elizabeth Olsen. However, even great acting can’t save the movie’s disappointing end.

“Red Lights” tells the story of Dr. Margaret Matheson and Tom Buckley, played by Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy. The two are out to investigate and expose people who claim to be involved with the paranormal. They look for what they call “red lights,” or things that prove that someone is lying.

Eventually, we meet a famed blind physic from the ‘70s named Simon Silver, played by Robert De Niro. Silver claims to have the ability to cure the sick and bend spoons with his mind, among other powers.

Silver has been out of the public eye for 30 years following the unexpected death of one of his critics – by heart attack – at a show; but now he’s launch a comeback tour.

Buckley is instantly intrigued by this, becomes obsessive about Silver, seeking ways that he can be revealed as a fraud. However, Dr. Matheson is not as quick to jump aboard this project.

She tells Buckley that Silver is dangerous and she wants no part in the investigation, but this doesn’t scare Buckley, who cannot sleep until he finds out Silver’s secret.

At first, the creepy and suspenseful aspects of Buckley’s investigation draw you in, but it eventually gets stale.

Meanwhile, there is a meaningless side plot involving Buckley’s new love interest played by Elizabeth Olsen. The character doesn’t provide any real purpose, except to slightly distract Buckley’s obsession with Silver’s antics.

Another way this movie fails is the portrayal of the general public. In the world of “Red Lights,” it seems as if everyone believes in magic and other paranormal activity.

The director wanted to make it seem like Dr. Matheson and Buckley were up against the opinion of the entire world. But it does not come off as believable.

Steal, Murphy steals the show. Despite the presence of film legends De Niro and Weaver, viewers will instantly be drawn to Murphy’s portrayal of Buckley. The character sets the tone for the entire movie. His eerie vibe gives the viewer a reason to watch until the very end.

Unfortunately, the interesting lead in and the progressively more crazy Buckley make the ending all more disappointing.

Preceded by a quite excessive fighting scene in the bathroom of a concert hall, the movie’s end throws you a twist that leaves more questions than it answers – and not in a good way.

The idea Cortes had for “Red Lights”is solid. But even a cast full of great actors cannot save poor writing.

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