The film “Murder by Numbers” opened this past weekend just under the radar of not only the gay press but most everyone in America considering it’s lackluster 10 million opening. But don’t let those, uh, numbers fool you! There is alot to love in this piece about two strapping young men who believe they can beat a murder rap by careful planning and deliberate red herring placement.
Sandra Bullock plays a woman who has a penis which probably made Michael feel right at home considering his last movie “Hedwig” was about a transgendered person who barely had one too. Of course, Sandra’s character really doesn’t have a penis, but at least one film decided to admit what we’ve all known since “Speed” and that’s Sandra Bullock is a man’s woman. She drinks beer, she solicits quick sex, and she looks downright desireable when she’s distressed.
So it’s no wonder the gay press told us all to go see “Y Tu Mama Tambien” instead of “Murder by Numbers.” In that Mexican version of “3some” meets “Road Trip” there was two hot leads and a horse-woman we could ignore while we waited with baited breath for the dick shots and the confirmation of homosexuality. But they dropped the ball, so to speak, when they forgot to tell us that there is some good old fashioned homo-eroticism occuring right here in the States with this piece of standard Hollywood junk.
It’s junk because like our fabulous heros who are trying to get away with murder but eventually start breaking under pressure, the film makers were on their way to succeding in making a pretty excellent movie. But then they break under pressure. Over developing Miss Penis Bullock’s character while putting less emphisis on the two murderers was for once a big mistake. Including a seriously misplaced back history for her, and in true Hollywood style going back to it repeatedly through flashbacks and Dolbyr sound jabs, not to mention having the entire piece end with it instead of the final shocking element in the REAL movie, are also serious problems.
But what does succeed and does it very well is the brillant performances by Michael Pitt and Ryan Gosling. They are bad guys, but they have what it takes to get you to like them. That’s hard work! They also like each other. Using each other’s weaknesses against one another, it’s a game of power and control where often times it seems as if at any moment the pair were going to break out into mad monkey sex. But alas the plot simply was too overburdened in other places to allow such a devilish twist, and we’re achingly pulled back into the tired boring cop storyline.
Eventually the pair do become too entangled with each other and lose sight in what they had set out to do. And just after it’s all spelled out for you for seemingly the third time, a few final plot twists yank you around just to make sure you’re all good and discomforted. That’s when they hit you with the crap about Miss Penis Bullock’s previous history and you end up leaving the theatre sexually frustrated, emotionally disturbed, and mentally offended that Hollywood had the ability to rip you off in the end once again.
“Murder by Numbers” grade: C+ for plot. A- for hot boys.Rating: B