Just before I turn to today's review, some readers may like to know that Amazon UK are featuring no fewer than three of my Lake District mysteries as Daily Deals - got to be a snip at 99 p each!
Conspiracy Theory is a blockbuster of a thriller, first screened in 1997. I watched it not long after its release, and felt that its premise was brilliant, although the way it was developed was competent rather than outstanding. On a second viewing, I didn't revise that verdict. It's still very watchable, not least because it boasts Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts and Patrick Stewart in the lead roles. But perhaps it doesn't exploit to the full the potential of the concept at its heart.
Jerry Fletcher (Gibson) is a paranoid yellow cab driver who treats his passengers to an endless stream of conspiracy theories which suggest that he's deeply disturbed. He is obsessed with a lawyer who works for the Justice Department (Roberts), who treats him gently, but shares the general; view that he is deluded.
But then someone seems to become worried about what Jerry is saying. Could it be that he's stumbled on to something serious that the Establishment want to cover up? Well, the answer isn't too hard to deduce, especially when Stewart turns up, playing a rather nasty doctor.. The director, Richard Donner, has a long track record with action movies, and some of the dramatic scenes are quite thrilling.
The complicated truth about Jerry begins to emerge, but despite the pace of the screenplay, it emerges rather too slowly, so that we are left with a series of set pieces, and a developing but unlikely relationship between Gibson and Roberts rather than something subtle and more original. I feel the result is something of a missed opportunity, but nevertheless, Conspiracy Theory ranks as satisfying light entertainment,