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Film review: 'The City of Your Final Destination' provides little for its capable cast

Published: Thursday, July 22 2010 5:33 p.m. MDT

Omar Metwally in "The City Of Your Final Destination."

Juan Quirno

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THE CITY OF YOUR FINAL DESTINATION — ★★ — Omar Metwally, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Linney; rated PG-13 (vulgarity, brief sex, brief partial nudity); Broadway Centre

"The City of Your Final Destination" seems to think that "slow" is the same thing as "low-key."

This adaptation of the Peter Cameron novel is pretty dull, and the whole thing is so lacking in energy that it becomes a chore to watch.

The disappointment here is that the drama reteams director James Ivory and actor Anthony Hopkins, who starred in some of the better Merchant Ivory movie productions ("Howard's End" and "The Remains of the Day").

Given how selective Hopkins has been about his movie roles lately, it's surprising to see him appear in something that really doesn't use his talents to their fullest.

Omar Metwally stars as Omar Razaghi, a writing professor who's hoping to write a biography of Latin American author Jules Gund, who recently passed away.

However, Omar is doing this project without the family's blessing. So when he shows up at the late man's home in Uruguay, he's met with resistance by Caroline (Laura Linney), Gund's widow.

However, Omar makes friends with Gund's brother, Adam (Hopkins), and Arden Langdon (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a younger woman with whom Jules had been having an affair.

Omar finds himself drawn to Arden. But that situation becomes awkward when his live-in girlfriend and writing partner, Deirdre (Alexandra Maria Lara), turns up in Uruguay, as well. (She's impatient and wants to see why he's been there for so long.)

Metwally's character just isn't that interesting, and as written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, most of the others are surprisingly one-note (especially Gainsbourg's Arden).

Still, both Hopkins and Linney do what they can to breathe life into their respective characters. Arguably, it's Linney's bitter widow who is the best of this motley crew.

"The City of Your Final Destination" is rated PG-13 and features some suggestive language and references, a pair of brief sex scenes (both gay and straight, mostly implied), brief partial male nudity, and brief violent imagery (a fall, as well as an insect attack). Running time: 118 minutes.

e-mail: jeff@desnews.com

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