From the wonderful world of the few Harrison Ford movies that didn’t break box office records (and you’ve never heard about) comes the thriller Witness. Ford plays John Book, a police agent who… never mind. No spoilers here.
When you start this movie, you can go ahead and just skip the first 12 minutes because absolutely nothing happens. Unless you want to see scenic shots of an Amish countryside. Basically, all you need to know is the main lady’s husband just died and now she’s on her way to visit her sister in Baltimore. No, you don’t even need to know that. All you need to know is that they’re Amish and they’re in a train station. There, you’re caught up.
This movie is a mixture of some really good, intense, memorable scenes and a whole lot of nothing at all. The movie flirts with being heartwarming and can be at times. The relationship between Book and the old man, Eli Lapp, isn’t completely worthless, and the subtlety of their growing affection for one another is commendable. But that’s like the 7th subplot.
What’s good about a love story in which you either don’t want the two people to end up together or maybe you just flat out don’t care whether they do or not? Not much. There is no sort of chemistry between Ford and McGillis. None at all. It’s one of those instances where I know I’m supposed to be feeling something here, but I don’t. The filmmakers obviously want me to be invested in this romance, or they wouldn’t spend 30 minutes of screen time on it. But I don’t care about this romance in the slightest. I want to see a gunfight! Not a subtle contrast between American and Amish culture! When will filmmakers learn?
The movie is slow. I’m used to slow-developing movies. I like to watch classic films, and I can even tolerate black and white movies (scary stuff, I know). But even this was too slow for me. If you watch this film, it might feel like dragging your feet through mud for an hour and a half just to see 20 minutes of good scenes.
But maybe I’m being too harsh on the film. I mean, it does have that super intense pointing scene. What pointing scene, you ask? Well, you’ll find out if you for some reason choose to watch this film.
And I’m sick and tired of hearing about how unique and impressive the Blade Runner soundtrack is. This film accomplished the same exact thing. Literally, the same soundtrack. Actually, I’m convinced they just re-used the Blade Runner soundtrack. What’s that you say? Synth layers don’t exactly go with an Amish barn-raising scene? You’re dead wrong! It works perfectly!
I know I keep saying it, but I do want to re-emphasize how good the good scenes are. They almost make watching the rest of the movie worth it. Almost.
And before I finish…For the record, I never recommend movies that I give less than a seven. So if you end up watching this, don’t blame me.