Wednesday, July 16, 2008

MOVIE: THE WALKER



The Walker is a drama film that was written and directed by Paul Schrader and was released in 2007. It is a British-American independent production and was proclaimed to be the latest installment in Schrader's "night workers" series of films, starting with Taxi Driver in 1976, and then followed by American Gigolo in 1980 and Light Sleeper in 1992. The Walker shares a similar plot to that of American Gigolo.

Woody Harrelson stars as Carter Page III, an overtly gay, Virginia senator's son, paid as an asexual escort of middle-aged women in the upper-crust circles of Washington, D.C. Carter's regular clients include three politicos' wives: Natalie Van Miter (Lauren Bacall), Abigail Delorean (Lily Tomlin), and Lynn Lockner (Kristin Scott Thomas), to whom Carter is closest - so close that he squires her, regularly, to sexual rendezvous with her lover, the lobbyist Robbie Kononsberg (Steven Hartley).

When an unknown perpetrator stabs Robbie to death, and Lynn discovers his murdered body at his condo, Carter attempts to protect Lynn and her husband, Larry (Willem Dafoe), from media intrusion by informing the police that he found the body himself, despite the fact that it makes him an immediate suspect. In time, Carter discovers from the women (during their gossip over a canasta game) that Robbie was involved with a shady insurance company, on the verge of being investigated - and that the investigation would have uncovered dirt and scandal on each woman. To shield Lynn from trouble, and deliver himself from incrimination, Page ultimately decides to investigate the crime himself, with the close assistance of his lover, the German-Turkish photographer Emek (Moritz Bleibtreu). Schrader authored the original script.




The Walker is a very slow and quiet film that never goes much of anywhere except to stay in that calm spot. This made me almost not like it but Harrelson got me through it. He makes the film a lot better than it is. Without him, I think the film would have been on a lot of worst movies of the year lists, that is if anyone saw it.

All of Schrader's films are usually cool and calm but in an interesting way. There is something about them that keeps you watching. Even his Exorcist film wasn't a scare a minute horror movie, which is why they probably fired him after he made it. The Walker doesn't have any of that aside from Harrelson. He is the one that keeps you watching and not the movie, even though both should be doing that.

There isn't a scene in The Walker that Harrelson isn't in, which is probably why I was able to keep watching all the way through. In the end, I said to myself that that movie wasn't very good, but Harrelson sure was.

The Walker: 5 out of 10

The DVD has no special features.


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