This particularly poor effort is notable for having such an A-list cast with a Z-list script that has almost nothing going for it. It's plodding, leaden and completely unimaginative, which will only leave one question in your mind once you’ve watched it: why on Earth did McGregor and Jackman agree to appear in it?

Jonathan McQuarry (McGregor) is a timid accountant working on various high profile audits but leading a lonely existence. Jet-setting lawyer Wyatt Bose (Jackman) who seemingly out of pity starts spending time with him, is an employee of one of the firms. When Bose is called away to London on business, McQuarry is introduced to "The List" where overworked professionals call one another and organise nights in hotel rooms for random no-strings attached sex. On one such night Jonathan meets a nameless woman (Williams) with whom he falls instantly in love. The List, however, has a strict set of rules, and when Bose returns we realise the McQuarry is in way over his head. As other members of the group start turning up dead, the finger points to Jonathon, but is he going to be able to clear his name?

This is sub late-night TV fodder. The plot is a copy and paste job from numerous dull adult thrillers from the 80s, although there is nothing either adult or thrilling about the action on screen. Jackman lurks malevolently in the background as if his heart isn’t in it (strange, because he is a producer on this) and McGregor is reliable but completely uninvolved. They aren’t the only ones wasted, with all the female characters wheeled in and then quickly wheeled out again. The early scenes would make you think there is some huge twist at the end, but rest assured there isn’t. It’s a completely down-the-middle film which can be swatted away with a straight bat.

This is TV commercial director Marcel Langenegger’s first film, and may well be his last. He is a safe pair of hands I guess, and having said that Hollywood seems to be in constant need for his type of limited filmmaking skills so perhaps a long career beckons. The writer also brought you the lamentable Die Hard 4.0, another by-the-numbers genre movie, and this is no different. While the film meanders to the predictable finale, you will probably come up with several endings you would like to see occur — all of which will be better than the nonsense you get at the end. The plot holes are too numerous to list, and if the film were to be described as a shape, it would be a circle — completely pointless.

Official Site
Deception at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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