Jennifer Lopez stars in this drama about a hard, no-nonsense cop who is strangely connected to a mysterious man. A somewhat romantic jaunt, the film unfortunately falls short of achieving anything truly meaningful.
Lopez plays Officer Sharon Pogue, a tough cop who lives primarily for her job. She arrives one day on the scene of a horrific accident to find a woman and a young boy dead inside a smashed-up car. She tries to keep the remaining occupant alive until help arrives. One year later, Sharon is still single but now estranged from her family because of a domestic-abuse issue. While trying to nab a criminal, her life is saved by a mysterious stranger, Catch (Jim Caviezel). The two are drawn to each other inexplicably and embark on a strange relationship. Catch can't tell Sharon much about himself beyond that he likes to walk and can play the trumpet. But things are slowly revealed about the car accident the year before, and they discover the truth behind their connection. Somehow, Sharon and Catch both have to come to terms with their old wounds and learn how to help heal each other.
Jennifer Lopez needs a really good director to bring out the best in her. She is serviceable in this role, and can actually pull off the tough girl act fairly succinctly. But unlike another tough girl she played in Out of Sight, the layers of her character are not as fully developed in Angel Eyes. There also is no chemistry between Lopez and Caviezel (but we remember quite well the sizzle she had with Sight costar George Clooney). Caviezel has perfected the lost, brooding persona he's exhibited in such films as The Thin Red Line and Pay It Forward, and he is incredibly intriguing to watch, rising above the material. His scene at the graves of his wife and child is moving and poignant without lapsing into sap. He deserves better. It also is refreshing to see Brazilian actress Sonia Braga once again, even if the part of Sharon's scarred mother is small.
Director Luis Mandoki's track record doesn't speak volumes for him, having directed such other mediocre romantic dramas as White Palace, with Susan Sarandon and James Spader, When a Man Loves a Woman, with Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia, and the real stinker Message in a Bottle, with Kevin Costner and Robin Wright. It just seems that his stars never have the necessary passion onscreen that the story dictates. And, especially in the case of Angel Eyes, the story does not move beyond its TV movie-of-the-week scenario. In fact, the marketing behind Eyes leads moviegoers to believe that the film offers a distinctively more mystical point of view. Audiences expecting a better, more intriguing take on the City of Angels plot will be sadly disappointed. (Caviezel would make an excellent angel).
J. Lo's mass appeal will bring them in, but the mediocrity of the film won't give them much more.