Michael Jennings (Affleck) is an engineer who goes out to get new technology from a company to reverse-engineer and improve it for the competition. The small detail here is that each time he does this, he gets his memory erased so that he can never remember what exactly he has done which means extra safety for his employers. When one of his old school friends, Jimmy Rethrick (Eckhart) suggests him to work for his company Allcom on an ultra-secret project, he’s a bit doubtful as it would take three whole years of his life which would get erased afterwards, but the promise of an eight-figure sallary which would result in him never having to work again draws him over the line and he accepts the deal. Three years later – which for him is only the blink of an eye due to his memory wipe – he wakes up with a bank account holding 90 million dollars. Life is good !
At least, until he tries to get some of the money and finds out he has given all the money away and sent himself a package holding 20 ridiculous objects including glasses, a box of matches, a package of cigarettes and a paperclip. Little later he gets arrested and accused of having stolen government secrets to give them to Allcom. Michael manages to escape from the police with some help of the items he sent himself but when Rethrick hears of this he sends out a crew of hitmen who need to get rid of Michael. While Michael has to keep out of the hands of the police, he now also has to make sure he doesn’t get killed and find out what he has done at Allcom…
Sound and Vision:
There is some grain present but this is probably done intentionally to give extra emphasis towards the cool image we’re used from Minority Report. For the rest we can only say some minor compression errors and aliasing are present but no further problems. Contrast, detail and sharpness are very good and even in the dark scenes everything is clear to follow.
The 5.1 track uses split-surround and has a lot of punch. All channels are well-used and also the subwoofer gets a piece of the action. Good stuff that makes a very atmospheric soundtrack.
There’s two audio commentary tracks available, the first with director John Woo while the second one is done by script writer Dean Georgaris. “Paycheck: Designing The Future”: extra info on the creation of the futuristic look of the movie. “Tempting Faith: The Stunts Of Paycheck”: Info on the stunts, more specifically the shotting scene in the railway station and the car chase. Deleted/Alternate scenes: 6 scenes and an alternate ending.
Paycheck is a decent thriller with all the elements a movie like this needs. Good suspense that will appeal to a large audience without turning into a massive shooting gallery with brainless action. Technically things are done pretty decent by Universal as we’ve come to expect. The extras are nice but could have been a bit more.