RELATED: The Quay brothers on Christopher Nolan and embracing digital
At this point Christopher Nolan can command his legions to care about the Quay brothers and get a movie greenlit without even having a subject. But back after his brainiac breakthrough “Memento,” Hollywood wasn’t sure what to do with him. Nolan wound up chasing that sleeper hit with a for-hire job, tackling a straight-ahead remake of a grim Swedish film that stars Al Pacino as a cop wrestling with an accidental murder, a serial killer (Robin Williams, in sad creep mode) and not sleeping. (Pacino’s character is considerably, perhaps tragically toned down from the 1997 original, which is one of Stellan Skarsgard’s nastier turns.) There’s little of the structural shenanigans that marks Nolan’s other work, but it shows he’s a perfectly acceptable team player, able to conjure a mood while getting subtle turns from show-offy actors. Of course, he was bound for bigger things.