Knight Moves Reviews
The premise in Knight Moves is pretty ridiculous. It's a rather basic thriller concept with the one difference being that the subject of the accusations is a chess grandmaster. This concept does not really have much potential to it and so the fact that there is no creative exploration in the end proves to be a predictable downfall of Knight Moves. But the most ridiculous thing in all of this is that there is honestly no competent reason why a killer should come after a chess grandmaster. There would have to be some really creative just cause for a killer to want to ruin the life of a professional chess player, but nobody bothered to figure one out. The story is a by the numbers slasher one where victims are being killed in a repetitive manner and nobody has any idea who the killer is because nobody actually has the slightest bit of just cause. Since writer Brad Mirman can't think of a clever reason for the killer to actually be a killer, I can't think of reason I should be entertained by Knight Moves. It certainly isn't because of the thrills in the film because there ultimately are none.
Even though there is potential for Knight Moves to follow in the footsteps of Ron Howsrd's Ransom in being a game between the subject and the killer, Carl Schenkel fails to find a clever allegory in the game of chess to match the game of cat and mouse between Peter Sanderson. Knight Moves opts instead to spend so much time messing around with every character plaguing the narrative with their own melodramatic subplots which never carry the dull story anywhere. There is romance involved and conspiracy theories, but it is never enough to contain the fact that Knight Moves is simply a monotonous film bereft of thrills or the tenacious focus it takes to play an intense game of chess. Director Carl Schenkel instead decies to play it safe and let the story unfold with a slow pace and repetitive script, serving as the nail on the coffin to ensure that the entire film was one massively boring experience. For a film which is essentially a whodunit, Knight Moves was so damned boring that I did not care in the slightest who the killer was.
And with such weak roots for the rest of the film, the cast end up succumbing to the same ultimately boring fate.
Christophe Lambert's performance is nothing to boast about, yet remains the most enticing aspect of Knight Moves. Many scenes in the film depict Peter Sanderson engaged silently in intense games of chess where the only acting he can contribute to the film is strictly physical, and that is the highlight of his performance as it demands nothing from him but an intense stare. And considering that the actor has profound myopia, he is easily able to create an appropriately intense stare. However, there isn't much else for him to offer. Christophe Lambert is an actor with his own gimmicks, but none of them transfer into Knight Moves well. Since the film gets so caught up pretending to be a legitimate thriller, it ends up so pretentious that the tone is a monotonously serious one which cannot embrace Christophe Lambert's distinctive charms. The role is not right for him because his manner of speaking and many bursts of overacting only have a sense of guilty pleasure in them, and it is not the kind which honestly matches up to the tone of the film correctly at all. It's still fun to see the man who created Connor MacLeod trying to take on a legitimate role even if he cannot do it without having random accent bursts and unintentional melodrama thrown in there. Considering the lifeless and dull nature of the storytelling in Knight Moves, the performance of Christophe Lambert is the only thing in the film with any life in it, even if that means bringing unintentional comedy to the film. The point is that his presence is most welcome in Knight Moves.
Christophe Lambert's wife of the time however, Diane Lane, does not embrace any dramatic spirit in Knight Moves. I don't exactly blame her because she is rooted in the most dull character of the film with the only appeal she brings to the film coming from her appeal during the sex scenes of the film, but even then the obvious nature of her breast augmentation make the sexiness seem artificial. Diane Lane is pathetically melodramatic in Knight Moves, as monotonous with her facial expressionsa as she is with her line delivery. Her only attempt to be dramatic comes from her amplfiying her voice, but not her spirit. Diane Lane is weak, and she can't even show any chemistry with her real life husband which might explain why they ended up divorcing.
Daniel Baldwin also delivers a very lazy performance. His character is like every other in being a pathetically thinly scripted figure, but he barely even makes an effort in the part. He is so lacking in energy that there is not even thes slightest hint of dramatic strength in his line delivery, and he can't even grasp a weapon without shaking too much. Daniel Baldwin does not even bother to try in Knight Moves, and although it's understandable since nobody involved in writing or directing did, it's still no boost to credibility on his behalf.
Even Tom Skerritt has no charisma to bring to Knight Moves.
So though the cheap gimmicks of Christophe Lambert's occasional overacting pay tribute to fans of his well enough, Knight Moves is a by the numbers thriller with elements of being a slasher and a whodunit but nothing more than a slowly paced generic story and weak acting to justify it.
lambert should never have tried the american market as the acting has never really improved.
fun and harmless if you are at home and this comes on, you can't really complain to much if you end up watching the whole thing. a great cast makes the most of the weak story
Uneven thriller about several ritual-like murders that occur during a chess tournament at a ritzy ocean-side resort. All the clues point to one of the players.