Just look past the ‘Lakeview’

By Ricky Simpson

Lakeview Terrace

Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Wilson, Kerry Washington

Director Neil LaBute left very little to the creative mind of the viewer. When he didn’t paint his characters, he hung a neon sign around their neck and told the viewer what they were. Abel (Jackson), overly aggressive and passionately close-minded, is bluntly shown as the “conservative.” The Northerner, Prius driving, environmentalist Chris (Wilson) is dodded as the “liberal.” This characterization conundrum weighs heavy throughout this aggravating thriller.

In “Lakeview,” newlyweds Lisa (Washington) and Chris move into a seemingly peaceful California suburb looking to begin a life in their first home. Living next to Abel, an LAPD officer, the two find themselves helpless to find friendship with their new neighbor, who acquires uncontrollable animosity toward the young couple. Abel consistently associates unholiness with the two and begins going to great lengths to run them out of the neighborhood.

Wilson has been teetering on a cliff of superstardom for years now after his break through performance in “Angels in America.” He is still a fresh face and not yet as popular as his talent proves until he one day nabs that blockbuster commercial hit that will pump him into theaters worldwide. Alongside Jackson, who takes on this hateful bigot with full force establishing his A-list status once again, Wilson’s performance wilts under the shadow of the Oscar nominated actor and comes off as a stiff, tree hugging, wimp.

The over barring depiction on the “liberal” and “conservative” are far too stereotyped and ridiculous. The plot itself gives you the thumping feel you got from “Training Day,” with the cop-gone-bad storyline and is actually not uninteresting. But the characters lose the battle here and drag this flick down a bit as the director fails to make a point from the contrasting characters.

“Lakeview” runs 110 minutes and is rated “PG-13” for mild language, violence, and some sexual material. Besides some odd directions taken with the characters, this thriller finds itself in the middle of the road with little to write home about.

Grade: C

Playing At: Cinemark Fayette Mall, Regal Hamburg Pavilion, Lexington Movie Tavern

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Playing At: Cinemark Fayette Mall, Lexington Movie Tavern

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Playing At: Cinemark Fayette Mall, Movies 10 — Woodhill, Lexington Movie Tavern

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