Movie reviews: “Angel Eyes”

Judging from critics’ comments, Angel Eyes was calculated to appeal to men as a cop thriller (with the sexy Jennifer Lopez as the cop) and to women as a weepy love story. The critics disagree on how well the filmmakers have been able to make such a hybrid viable. Clearly (male) critic Jonathan Foreman in the New York Post wasn’t reaching for the Kleenex. “During an endless, maudlin last act, it becomes more and more difficult not to laugh — or barf — as the protagonists tearfully come to terms with their issues,” he writes. (Female) Rita Kempley begins her review in the Washington Post this way: “When she’s not slamming thugs the size of sumo wrestlers upside the hood of her squad car, Jennifer Lopez‘s butt-busting heroine in Angel Eyes is boo-hoo-hooing in the privacy of her lonely room. J-Lo is Jell-O on the inside. Sniff.” On the other hand, Ray Conlogue in the Toronto Globe and Mail describes the film as “a smoothly written romantic film which has the discipline to avoid what its producer Mark Canton calls the ‘otherworldly forces’ (ghosts, angels) which have infected recent popular romances like City of Angels and Ghost.” Jay Carr, also describes the movie positively for the most part. It’s “a billowy romance that has date movie written all over it,” he writes. “This is a surprisingly effective film,” says Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times. “For what it is, [it’s] not bad,” Bob Longino remarks in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Michael Wilmington in the Chicago Tribune, however, has a less benevolent attitude — perhaps because it is set in Chicago. The movie, he says, “tries to pump real emotions into a never-never Chicago that has been glamorized and thrillerized almost out of recognition. It’s not the usual kind of big-studio mediocrity. It’s a slicker sellout, full of phony-sounding greeting-card idealism.”