First off, this movie looks great.
The design of the house, and the location shooting are absolutely gorgeous.
Liam Neeson leads the cast with his usual quiet grace, but occasionally looks a little uncomfortable with the script.
Owen Wilson is his usual, annoying but funny self. Catherine Zeta-Jones puts in a suprisingly good effort, If trying too hard to be too American some of the time.
Lili Taylor works very hard, and for the most part she pulls off the part of 'mother-pecked' spinster, desperate to shake away her old life. But compared to the same part played to absolute perfection by Julie Harris in the original, it just falls short.
The fault of that lies firmly with the director, Jan De Bont!
As an action movie director, 'De Bont' has a fantastic eye!
But anything to do with quality acting and subtlety; He has no idea at all!
This film is at it's best when being quiet and subtle, unfortunatley this is hardly ever.
In 1999, the state of computer graphics was still advancing, but compared to what was achieved back in 1993 with Jurrasic Park, most of the 'CGI' here looks hokey and unrealistic. The fault of the director again, for over-use!
With absolutely everything that needed a light touch, it is just slapped on screen by the bucket-load. "Less is more" anyone?
In the hands of a masterful director, this could have been a superb remake, but with no reserve from this director it misses almost every mark.
A good popcorn movie though!