Someone Tell Elliot Gould That The Caller Is Frank Langella
By Aaron Hillis
Tuesday, February 10th 2009 at 3:08pm
Co-written by French psychoanalyst/novelist Alain-Didier Weill and director Richard Ledes (A Hole in One), The Caller begins as a multinational corporate thriller more ambiguous and geopolitically senseless than Demonlover.
Unloosening his Nixonian jowls a little, Frank Langella stars as a Manhattan energy-firm exec who blows the whistle on his firm’s perfidious offenses in Latin America, earning a price on his head by merely uploading some bar charts and a blurry QuickTime clip of murdered innocents. Bird-watching private eye Elliott Gould (here the ringer in a Dennis Farina look-alike competition) soon receives phone calls from a poetry-reciting stranger with a voice modulator, asking him to shadow Langella for inexplicable reasons. Now there’s jumping the shark, and then there’s ruining the entire movie, so when Langella is shown in the very first call to be the eponymous client on the other end of the line, we’re left to wonder why we’re watching Gould scramble for clues to a mystery we’ve been given the solution to. Unless you can’t figure out who the two boys are in the force-fed World War II childhood trauma flashbacks, in which case [spoiler alert!] you’re an idiot.