Hollywood’s most effective detective thrillers skillfully blur the already thin line between cop and crook. Such is the case in “Insomnia,” a delicately paced cat and mouse game that might be described as conventional only when you consider its decidedly unconventional director, Christopher Nolan.

Nolan earned recognition last year by helming the breakout smash, “Memento,” a much-deserved critical darling that topped several end-of-year “Best Of” list and had cinephiles drooling at the thought of a follow up. Proving his unpredictability, Nolan chose to remake a Norwegian cult fave of the same name with a trio of Academy Award winners and one eye-opening gimmick. Where Nolan’s “Memento” distanced itself from the pack by manipulating the element of time, “Insomnia” plays with the time of day, setting up shop in the Stephen King-inspired town of Nightmute, AK. The sun shines as brightly in Nightmute at noon as it does at 10:00 p.m., a fact that continuously confounds visiting Detective Will Dormer (Al Pacino). An L.A. investigator assisting an old friend, Dormer and his partner, Hap Eckhart (Martin Donovan), are probing the unfortunate murder of a high school student while dodging an internal affairs investigation of which the details are gradually revealed.Ever the “Method Actor,“ Pacino looks exhausted from the first frame. The veteran portrays Dormer in the “detective as professor” mold, gently lecturing eager pupil Ellie Burr (Hilary Swank) as he paces the necessary steps of the investigation. Without warning, Dormer is given the opportunity to eliminate one nagging problem, but his actions cloud his conscious. He begins to steer two investigations simultaneously – one to flush out the young girl’s killer, and one to plug up holes in a potential case that could be built against him by internal affairs. In a clever turn of events, the object of Dormer’s pursuit, suspicious novelist Walter Finch (Robin Williams), becomes an unlikely ally as well as a loose end the guilty detective needs to tie up to preserve his own innocence. Like Dormer’s fluid alibi, the “Insomnia” screenplay does have tiny holes, which the talented cast quickly moves to sop up. Ellie, who shadowed Dormer’s tactics so closely from the minute he touched down in her small town, implausibly allows the detective to roam unsupervised for several days, allowing Dormer to slip deeper and deeper into Finch’s web. And by the end, “Insomnia” backs itself into a corner and must rely on conventional tactics to reach a satisfactory conclusion.Still, Nolan unloads enough tricks in the film’s opening two-thirds to visually disorient audience members. His camera plunges through dark caves and thick fogs (during one chase scene, in particular), and sounds rebound from unexpected directions to keep Dormer (and us) guessing. A subdued Williams builds tension by hovering, and the screenplay wisely crafts him not as a deranged psychopath, but as a rational victim of passion. It’s a tribute to his often suspect acting skills that he not only gets a delicious, well-penned interaction with Dormer – one which accurately switches the roles of cat and mouse – but that he fulfills what’s expected of this character so adroitly. gcse statistics coursework mark scheme watch go here essays on how technology has helped society precalculus homework help thesis defence presentation outline see essay on my hobby for grade 5 Cialis online 20mg research proposal artificial intelligence dissertation critique plan analogique liquid cialis not working go site comparative essay free jane eyre essay thesis statement abortion pro cialis star junction public transport essay writing buy psychology papers apa format proposal example graduate school papers literacy homework follow business communication assignment sample college admissions letter thesis statement set up Grade: B+By Sean O’ConnellMay 24, 2002