Director: John Woo
Country of origin: China
Not all foreign directors come to Hollywood and jump the artistic shark, of course. Just look at John Woo's filmography, which includes the dynamite Nicolas Cage/John Travolta potboiler Face/Off (1997) and the box office smash Mission: Impossible 2 (2000). The former capitalized more on Woo's string of China-made action classics, demonstrating the same degrees of panache seen in The Killer (1989) and Hard-Boiled (1992).
But what the hell happened with Paycheck? Similar to Daredevil and Phantoms, Paycheck will perhaps best be remembered as one of the films Ben Affleck will have to keep living down now that he's a respected and award-winning director. Reducing a slick Philip K. Dick short story into an orgy of bedlam, gunfire, and dopey characters, Woo's cinematic dud feels like the work of a hack, not the guy who once made The Killer. Maybe he'd performed Face/Off surgery with Stephen Sommers before production began.