Thursday, April 25, 2002

Murder by Numbers (IMDB) (Netflix)

Teen angst is deadly. Two troubled-but-hyperintelligent adolescents decide to prove their confused philosophy by killing a random person, which brings in Sandra Bullock (who has her own baggage) as the homocide detective who, of course, bucks the system to go after them.

The performances by the two boys are creepy yet credible, and Bullock commendibly stretches beyond her feisty wise-cracking-girl-next-store persona, but doesn't succeed in connecting with the audience. The teen relationship storyline freshens things up (it's very loosely based on the 1924 Leopold and Loeb case), but there are too many standard crime drama elements dragging it down (Bullock's character is told by her boss "this case is closed" when, of course, she knows it isn't), especially for a movie that's not a whodunit, but a how-is-she-going-to-prove-whodunit.