Given the pedigree behind this alleged comedy, it’s not hard to assume this will be a terrific movie. After all, it’s directed by Andrew Niccol of the underrated “Gattaca,” it stars Al Pacino and its supporting cast includes Catherine Keener, Jay Mohr and an extended cameo by Winona Ryder. However, there’s just nothing to this at all: It’s two excruciating hours of watching a befuddled, wide-eyed Pacino running around a variety of movie lots, talking to himself out loud and having versions of the same conversation in just about every scene, repeated ad nauseum until the credits mercifully start to roll. There’s a story to be told here, and while director/screenwriter Niccol occasionally starts to formulate a thesis or a point to make beyond “movie stars are demanding,” somehow it never comes together, and the finished product is one of the most pointless, ill-conceived and poorly acted mainstream movies of the 2000s.
Rating: ★★ (out of 5)