Taking Lives (2004) Review

Illeana an FBI profiler is called by the French Canadian police to help catch a serial killer who takes on the identity of his victims. That man being Martin Asher and a witness to his latest murder . . .


Taking Lives had a decent idea behind the twist and storyline but failed to actually hit the heights. Given the impressive line up with the cast it ended up being a rather messy and quite frankly horrible film.

The opening scene we see Martin Asher and what would be his first victim in a very sadistic manner of pushing him in front of a lorry. Then we follow years later as they attempt to catch him. although no one actually knows what he looks like. Until James Costa comes on the scene even though he had been accused of the murder, given he was at the scene of the crime and covered in the victims blood.

It’s a rather difficult plot to explain without any spoilers but I wouldn’t really recommend this film anyway so I am just going to dive in with some SPOILERS. Illeana figures out that Asher targets his victims so he can become them and getting away from his own life, as he was an unwanted child and became unstable after the death of his twin brother who was clearly the favourite. Setting in motion his killing life! Rebecca his mother had claimed to have seen him years before.

It was indeed Rebecca who when attempting to identify a body then finds out that her son is indeed alive and we as the viewer find out James Costa is in fact Martin Asher! It was an interesting moment but something was always off with Costa from the start. Still not enough to be amazing or make the film any better.

One of the most disappointing things about the film on the whole is that given the cast you would expect it to be at least good but that was not the case at all. Angelia Jolie was misused in the role in my opinion and having all the men all over her was a very poor choice. Ethan Hawke was given a couple of ok moments, but didn’t really feel right as that character. Fair play to him though for trying to take on something totally different it just didn’t really work at all.

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