Adapted from a mind-bending sci-fi thriller by Philip K. Dick, the slick and riveting PAYCHECK is directed by John Woo (THE KILLER, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE II)--the king of artful gunfighting flicks--who shows off his agility here with flat-out, white-knuckle cinematic entertainment. Michael Jennings (Ben Affleck) is a high-paid engineer who works on hush-hush computer inventions and technology for shady companies. Later, his memory is wiped clean, so he has no recollection of his work. His so-called friend Rethrick (Aaron Eckhardt, the master of smarmy mean-spiritedness, as in IN THE COMPANY OF MEN) offers him enough money to retire by working on a project at Rethrick's company, Allcom. When Jennings emerges three years later, sans memory, he tries to collect his paycheck. At the bank, he's handed a manila envelope filled with cryptic items he doesn't recognize, and told he voluntarily forfeited his entire paycheck. He also has a stunning girlfriend named Dr. Rachel Porter (Uma Thurman) who is likewise ensnared in the conspiracy. Jennings must somehow piece together the clues he left for himself, and find out why everyone is out to kill him.
As usual, Dick's story is the basis for a killer script that travels from point A to Z with gripping immediacy. The clues left for Jennings are amusing writerly devices, intricately pieced together. Woo clearly enjoyed choreographing the wild gunfighting and chase sequences (slo-mo bullets aplenty), sending Affleck and Thurman on the run with a BMW motorcycle.
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