Complex plot muddles understanding of film

Sphere (Warner Brothers) might have been a perfectly rounded movie with no imperfections. But it’s more of polygon with a variety of sides, leaving the audience confused.

The movie starts off without any background. Psychologist Norman Goodman (Dustin Hoffman, Wag the Dog) is called by a U.S. government agency to fly to the middle of the ocean and assist with what he thinks is an airplane crash.

Inside the wreckage, he finds an assembled group of experts he recommended in a presidential report to be members of a contact team dealing with extraterrestrial life. The only problem is that the report is based on science fiction and Goodman’s imagination.

The group includes Harry Adams (Samuel L. Jackson, Jackie Brown), a computer-fast mathematician and biochemist Beth Halperin (Sharon Stone, Casino). Halperin also happens to be a former patient and bitter lover of Goodman. However, where one might have expected a predictable rekindling of romance, as well as nude scenes with Stone, neither are included.

While the movie starts off well enough, after the midpoint it becomes confusing. The audience is left wondering if what is occurring actually is occurring – or the result of the mysterious alien sphere. The characters themselves are not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier, either. For all the brilliance they supposedly possess, they miss lots of clues that would explain their situation.

The film ends on a positive, though cheesy, note. Though the world is safe from the potential danger of the sphere, the audience leaves not quite realizing what happened. The major problem for people who read Michael Crichton’s book is that no movie can do it complete justice. People are better off saving a couple of bucks and reading the book instead.Sphere is now playing.2 hatchets

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