Movie Review : Paycheck

Saturday night, Jenn and I watched the movie Paycheck, which stars Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman. The movie centers around Michael Jennings (Affleck), who makes his living by reverse engineering products for competing companies, and building better products based on the technology. In order to prevent Affleck from using that technology again, his customers erase his memory of his inventions. Jennings is approached by a long time customer with a big offer. Three years of his life for big, one time check.

In what is a blink of an eye, the job is over for Jennings. He has no memory of what he has been up to for the last three years. But he quickly finds that not everything went as planned. Just a few short weeks prior to the end of his contract, he forfeited his paycheck, and left himself with 20 essentially useless knick-knacks. The movie follows along as he tries to determine why he forfeited such a huge payday, and why so many people seem bent to end his life.

I had been looking forward to this movie since I read a preview for it in Wired magazine. The plot comes from a short story Philip K. Dick, who also penned Minority Report. It is an interesting action movie, that goes against most other action films by giving you something to think about why you watch bullets fly. What if you could erase chunks of your memory? Would you erase any horrible accidents so you no longer had nightmares about them? Would you whittle down your memories to only the good ones? The film presents more interesting questions as well, but I won't spoil the plot for you here.

If you are a Sci-Fi fan, or enjoyed Minority Report, I think there is a good chance that you might like Paycheck.


Jade Mason