The Two Faces of January Reviews
The flaw in this film is in some of the decisions made behind the camera. I thought the story had enough intrigue to keep me interested, but they didn't create a good mystery, when they easily could have. In other words, I didn't know what was going to happen next, but because of the presentation I knew everything that happened before. There were scenes that should have been removed which would have left the story intact but given the audience more to think about. For instance (and this isn't a spoiler because it happens pretty early in the film) the husband kills a private detective who was looking for him, and then the tour guide happens upon him trying to take care of the body. If we were not shown the scene of the murder we would be left in the dark and allowed to puzzle through what happened up until we saw that scene. There are other subtle things that I thought could have been cleaned up in the way the story was presented, but it would sound like nitpicking. All it amounted to was enough minor flaws to keep The Two Faces of January from being something special. It is a decent film, and I am glad I saw it. I think others will get some enjoyment out of it if they watch it, but I don't know how highly I would recommend it.
It's certainly not badly made, but it felt like there should have been a twist or something at the end, and there just wasn't. I didn't even really get why Chester helped at the end. What was in it for him at that point?
The Two Faces of January was a smartly written and very real sort of thriller. The performances of all three stars were excellent and succeeded in capturing my complete attention to the point I forgot I was watching actors. The pacing of the plot made sure the film was never dull and the chemistry between all three was perfect. Viggo and Kirsten were an actual believable couple and you began to empathize with them up to a point.
I know a lot of people have not been big fans of Kirsten Dunst's movie career but trust me when I say that this film may be her best. If you want to see her in a truly excellent performance, you need to watch this film. The same goes for Viggo Mortensen who I'm glad to see is still turning out classics. I guess I need to stop saying Oscar Isaac surprised me with how good he was since he makes every single film better just by being in it. I need to stop writing anymore and just drive home the fact to all of you that you need to watch this film. The soundtrack, setting, and story are all excellent and there are surprises around every corner. This is such an underrated little gem.