Picks and Pans Review: Second Nature
If a TV movie has you guessing, it's likely to keep you watching.
So it is with this above-average thriller about Paul Kane (Alec Baldwin), an American who awakens in a London hospital with only fragmentary memories of a plane crash that killed his wife and two daughters and left him in a coma. Under the care of concerned psychiatrist Harriet Fellows (Louise Lombard), Paul gradually recalls that he is a secret agent specializing in assassinations. When his sinister boss, Kelton Reed (Powers Boothe), orders Paul to eliminate a Malaysian leader, things go awry, and the plot takes a pleasingly sharp turn.
Baldwin offers a first-rate characterization of a man leery of trusting anyone, including himself. If his performance isn't totally convincing, it's only because the star is not in ideal fighting trim and the part calls for all manner of action-hero exertions—dangling from a ledge, diving into a canal, squeezing into small hiding places and engaging in frequent fisticuffs. The psychology of this story is intriguing, but the physical stuff isn't worth the sweat.
BOTTOM LINE: Flawed, but it'll hook you