Milla Jovovich Battles Face Blindness (True) in Trailer for Faces in the Crowd

Milla Jovovich has squared off against many insidious adversaries in her career, including zombies (Resident Evil), evil itself (The Fifth Element), and critics (The Messenger). So why is it that her latest foe, a real-life affliction known as prosopagnosia -- which confuses a person's ability to recognize the faces of friends and loved ones (or, in Jovovich's case in Faces in the Crowd, the face of her would-be killer) -- seem like the silliest and most far-fetched enemy of all?

Prosopagnosia is a disorder in which one cannot recognize familiar faces, usually after suffering a trauma to the brain; Wired wrote about it in 2006, while author Heather Sellers penned her memoirs in 2010 about living with the affliction. So I don't dismiss the idea of face blindness lightly as the silly horror movie device that writer-director Julien Magnat's France-Canada co-production Faces in the Crowd makes it seem when a character in the trailer explains to Jovovich why everyone she knows, including herself, suddenly looks blurry-faced or like creepy clones. (Do you think when she looks into the mirror she goes, "Hey, is that the chick from Return to the Blue Lagoon?")

"What you're experiencing," a doctor explains, "is FACE BLINDNESS..."

Duh-duh-duhn!

I'll give Milla this; she appears to be as committed to the set-up here as she was in the also-silly The Fourth Kind, but the "blink-and-your-husband's face-becomes-a-stranger's face" -- or friend's face, or nondescript serial killer guy's face, etc. -- thing gets gimmicky fast. And when was the last time a movie killer used a straight razor so much just in the trailer? Something tells me we've seen pretty much all the beats of this film already in just two minutes and 18 seconds of face-blurring, neck-slashing, Milla Jovovich-freaking out trauma. And if you think for a second there won't be a twist ending, think again. Like Julian McMahon will let those Nip/Tuck slicing skills go to waste?

VERDICT: Sigh. It's too bad I'm not silly movie-blind and will watch anything Milla Jovovich is in, no matter what.



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