After Agent Mulder is murdered, Storm strikes up an unlikely friendship with the Wolfman in Things We Lost in the Fire, a touching but not particularly memorable drama about two people who have to cope with their losses in different ways. Those of you scratching your heads at my opening sentence may interpret the plot as this: after David Duchovny is murdered in a freak incident, his grieving wife, played by Halle Berry, invites her late husband's troubled best friend, played by Benicio Del Toro, to live with her and her children, despite his struggle with drug addiction.
Things We Lost in the Fire is a film about two people dealing with a tragedy in two completely different ways, and not much more. As such, I didn't find anything too remarkable about the story; the screenplay, delicately written by Allan Loeb, is good, but a little too subtle for my liking. I was not in a particularly good mood yesterday, and as such a rather lowkey and somber drama is not what I was in the mood for, but still, there is nothing in the film that blew me away.
That being said, the performances are quite good. Like the screenplay, the two leads turn in lowkey performances, but the performances are still impressive. I've always been a fan of Del Toro who, I feel, has drifted away from the really strong performances he was landing a couple years back. Then again, he's only been in a couple movies since 2003's 21 Grams (one of those being Sin City), but if you look at it that way, Fire features his best performance in five years. On the flipside, I've never been a fan of Halle Berry, and I still believe she's a bit of a one-hit wonder. That being said, Fire features Berry's best performance since Monster's Ball. Duchovny also turns in a good supporting role.
Things We Lost in the Fire is a film that relies on its actors from the beginning, and as such it succeeds. The film is well-written and well-acted, but it lacks the spark and charisma to carry a story like this to the next level. The movie is good, but nothing about it leaves a lasting impression. This is why I had to start this review with such a weird and random intro, just so that you would remember it for an additional ten seconds.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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