Viewed on 14 Jun 03   Makers of movie previews never seem to get it quite right.   Most often they will provide would-be audiences with their own 'spoilers', showing far too much of the plot, action and SFX.   Occasionally, as with INSOMNIA, they go to the other extreme, not giving even the slightest inkling that the film has real merit, thereby discouraging a good many who might otherwise would have seen it.   The up-side to this is - if you happen to be one of those who has seen the previews, the actual film exceeds all expectations.
Al Pacino plays aging police detective Will Dormer who is sent with his partner, Hap Eckhart (Martin Donovan) up from the 'lower 48' to a fishing town in Alaska to solve a murder.    The pair were sent to Alaska under a black cloud; they are currently under investigation by Internal Affairs back home.   The Alaskan police are typically resentful of 'foreign' help, nevertheless, Dormer lives up to his reputation as one capable of solving difficult cases - he comes up with new clues as he edges ever-closer to the killer.    As the chase heats up, Dormer's partner, Hap, is shot and killed.    His death is blamed on the killer at large, but an enthusiastic fledgling local cop, Ellie Burr (Hilary Swank) keeps coming across conflicting evidence.
Al Pacino delivers one of his finest performances ever, despite occasionally lapsing into his Marlon Brando imitation.    Of course, it would be hard not to look good playing opposite Robin Williams, who once again barefacedly proves he can't act his way out of a wet paper bag.    If I may paraphrase Russell Lynes - "Every stand-up comedian has a movie in him - which is a good place for it. "    Producer Paul Junger Witt has apparently forgotten the old adage, 'If you cross a beautiful woman with a five-hundred pound gorilla, you get a five-hundred pound gorilla'.
INSOMNIA is a remake of the 1997 Norwegian version.   If you haven't seen the original, this one is a highly watchable cop-genre thriller.  In spite of Robin Williams.
Enduring Line or Phrase:  "No, I think I will remember it."
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