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The Deal

Genre: Drama/Thriller
Directed by: HARVEY KAHN
Released by: Front Street Productions, Myriad Pictures

In Short: Dull corporate intrigue mixed with a lukewarm office romance make this a "Deal" that isn't worth negotiating.

Sorry, No "Deal"
A Thriller Without the Thrills

By Jenny Peters

It's a tough deal to sell, convincing moviegoers to spend their hard-earned dough on a talky corporate thriller. Yes, it has worked now and then in the past, in films like "The Firm" and "Wall Street," but last time we checked, going to the movies was supposed to help you escape from boredom, not make it worse. "The Deal" is one of those sad cases where decent actors are completely bogged down in a script that just drones on and on.

Christian Slater tries hard, playing a Wall Street honcho who gets involved in a mega-merger-deal with a huge oil company, but there are so many obvious moments in the very slowly developing story that anyone who has stayed awake will have figured out the various plot twists and "surprise" reveals long before they happen. Selma Blair looks good and seems believable as a recently graduated Harvard MBA who gets embroiled in "The Deal" and with Slater's character as well. That romance is mildly believable, but completely un-erotic, while Slater's dalliance with the gorgeous Angie Harmon is downright laughable. At least Robert Loggia is terrific as the billionaire oil magnate. When he's onscreen, things perk up for a moment.

The biggest problem with "The Deal" is that we've all seen this movie before—an idealistic guy who is seduced by success gets embroiled with big bad corporate bosses who will stop at nothing to make an evil deal that will net them millions—and can easily predict just what is going to happen next. And not only does it commit the sin of rehashing a much-flogged plot idea, "The Deal" is just plain boring. That's the real killer, for if a movie is going to revisit a story we've seen before, the least the filmmakers can do is make it an interesting ride.

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