The considerable talents of Hugh Jackman, Ewan McGregor and Michelle Williams are wasted in "Deception." This is a thriller for audiences that don’t want to be or thrilled or intrigued by the big surprises. That’s because the script and the direction seem deliberately designed to give everything away. Virtually every clue is telegraphed with dialogue or an extra-long reaction shot. It’s as if they took a Hitchcock movie and dropped the style and IQ level about 85 percent.
Jackman delivers a curiously bland performance as the charismatic alpha male Wyatt Bose, and McGregor in fumbling nerd mode as Jonathan, the accountant who thinks Wyatt is just the coolest. Even when they inadvertently switch cell phones, it’s a bonus for Jonathan, as he winds up with Natasha Henstridge of "Species" fame. (So to speak.) The plot would have been more plausible if Henstridge sprouted tentacles, but she’s just a secret sex club hookup.
We also get cameos from Charlotte Rampling as a financial titan who enjoys anonymous romps, and Maggie Q as yet another member of the sex club who provides Jonathan with valuable information at just the right time. "Deception" has a slick look. What it doesn’t have is a story we haven’t seen before, executed in much superior fashion. Even the guilty pleasure "Derailed" with Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston did a better job with a similar story line. This is one of those innocent-man-gets-trapped movies where the innocent man would be just fine if he didn’t act like an idiot until the story requires him to turn into a genius.