CITY OF GHOSTS

title: CITY OF GHOSTS
year: 2002
cast: Matt Dillon, James Caan
writer/director: Matt Dillon
rating: **1/2

Matt Dillon, who has always been one of my favorite actors, as a director is obviously very influenced by film noir: a stranger in a strange land being used by someone he trusts while not exactly being sure about what's going on around him. This is the basic situation, and the setting is modern day Vietnam. The subtle villian, James Caan, a con-man who swindled people in an insurance scam, doesn't have enough to do. He's a mysterious character but his mystery just isn't that dynamic. Either is the story or the outcome. First-time director Dillon shows the landscape of Vietnam a whole lot, and plays actual music from that region throughout, yet you never feel you're in this place... you're merely watching it, rather than living it.

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