The Minus Man (4 stars)


(15) 107min (Optimum DVD retail)


Made way back in 1999 (but here receiving its UK debut on DVD), this overlooked American indie about a compassionate serial killer finds frat-pack comic actor Owen Wilson in an unusually serious role. Wilson was yet to make his name when he took the lead in this offbeat but pitch perfect psychological thriller about a drifter who ‘intervenes’ in the lives of the unhappy and gently puts an end to their misery. Although the proceedings are played straight, the titular existential killer Vann Siegert is a recognisable Wilson creation - an airhead with arrested development.

Among Vann’s victims are Brian Cox, Mercedes Ruehl, Janeane Garofalo and Sheryl Crow, and that cast is well served by a decent script (adapted from Lew McCreary’s novel) and even handed direction from Hampton Fancher, the writer of that post-modern sci-fi classic Blade Runner here making his directing debut. No extras.

(Miles Fielder)