Friday, April 19, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 134



As easy to learn as your ABCs

By Geronimo Rodriguez
Daily Cougar Staff

What with Barbet Schroeder's directing effort and Sandra Bullock's different approach to portraying female characters, Murder by Numbers is a
worthy film, but there are two aspects that, if avoided, could have made the crime thriller better.

Audiences could have waited until the end to be walked through the murder, and there's no reason to wrap up the story with gunplay and
catch-me-if-you-can scenarios.

Director Barbet Schroeder delivered these scenes well, but why can't filmmakers or film writers do away with the anticipated gun scenes in the

Who still actually wonders which character, the good or the bad, is going to get shot?

But seriously, someone should kill the good character in the end to freshen it up a bit.

Aside from these aspects of the film, Schroeder strays from the stylistic maneuvers and quirky background music usually used in such films
and brings his dry, realistic approach to the film.

Another thing when there's a mediocre plot, it's always best to employ an established director such as Schroeder.

The veteran director was nominated for an Academy Award for his effort in 1990's Reversal of Fortune.

For most, Bullock is always a delight to see. The actress, who often brings a unique quality to the women characters she portrays, plays a keen
detective who enjoys drinking and sleeping around.

In a way, it's almost as if Bullock, who is executive producer of this and many of her other films, makes her own roles in an industry filled with
glamorous faces. For her and her audience, it has been a good thing.

Ryan Gosling and Michael Pitt also play their roles well. With Murder, they were asked to fill a role that isn't often found in typical films involving

Their friendship is emotionally unstable and pretty realistic considering they are accused of cold-blooded murder.

Gosling and Pitt play Richard, a popular teen, and Justin, an unknown intellectual, respectively. Both characters are too wealthy for their own

When they form this pact to explore murder and its consequences, the two meet Detective Mayweather (Bullock) and her wet-behind-the-ears
partner (Ben Chaplin). From here, the film turns into inquisitions and ways in which one can outsmart another.

At best, Murder by Numbers is just that. Enjoy the directing and acting, but don't anticipate an overwhelming story.

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