Complicity (2000)    1 Stars

“Some people deserve to die”

Complicity (2000)

Director: Gavin Millar

Cast: Jonny Lee Miller, Brian Cox, Keeley Hawes

Synopsis: Cameron Colley is a young Scottish journalist, with an interest in exposing the wrongs committed by the rich and powerful.




Gavin Millar’s Complicity is one of those movies that has no real sense of its identity. It starts out having us believe it’s going to be a political conspiracy thriller, but as the story unfolds that strand becomes increasingly side-lined, replaced by a serial killer mystery that never really grabs the viewer. The reason it leaves us cold is largely because the film’s protagonist, a maverick reporter who ‘collects addictions’ and who is being framed for a series of bizarre murders, is too unsympathetic a character for us to be concerned about.

The reporter in question is Cameron Colley (Jonny Lee Miller — Aeon Flux), who seems incapable of reporting about any story without first attaching his own socialist political agenda to it, which is a practice that repeatedly gets him in trouble with his boss. Colley keeps receiving cryptic phone calls from a disguised voice that feeds him clues to a possible conspiracy involving a number of recently deceased people who were covertly involved in the sale of arms to Iraq. And then the people featured in his reports resulting from these tip-offs start being killed off in imaginative ways…

There’s a reason Colley is the way he is, which is revealed too late in the movie — and which is, anyway, a poor explanation for the half-hearted nature of his ‘addictions’ — to get us on his side. He shows no sign of guilt about having an affair with his mate’s sexually depraved wife, no doubt blaming his actions not on himself but on a traumatic episode from his past which is too much of a spoiler to reveal here. This episode is also supposed to explain his various addictions, but these are referred to only fitfully, almost as an afterthought, and have absolutely no effect on his ability to function.

The story is reasonably absorbing, but the pay-off is just too far-fetched to be believable, leaving the viewer feeling more than a little cheated once all the plot strands are explained.

(Reviewed 5th April 2014)