Anonymous interaction via the internet is the subject of On_Line, a movie shot in digital that begins on an interesting note then slowly devolves into a piece of junk. The one huge mistake that director Jed Weintraub (Go West) makes is that he connects everybody somehow in real life. It is a logical leap that goes a little too far, causing a totally contrived event in the third act of the film to wrap up too neatly. Everything revolves around Intercon-X, a site where people can pay to have streaming cybersex with a live model. John (Josh Hamilton, The Bourne Identity, Ice Age) and Moe (Harold Perrineau, Jr., The Matrix: Reloaded, Someone Like You), two friends and roommates. While Moe eagerly goes from woman to woman, John is still in a rut over his ex-fiancee, who left him months ago.

On_Line proceeds to switch between various people somehow connected to Intercon-X, who are all closer than they think. John begins having sessions with Jordan (Vanessa Ferlito, The 25th Hour), and agrees to meet her in person. Ed (Eric Millegan), a young, lonely gay man in Ohio has regular sessions with Al (John Fleck, Screenland Drive, Primary Suspect) and begins to develop a crush. Moe begins seeing Moira (Isabel Gillies, The Girl Under the Waves, Chocolate for Breakfast). Aside from one all-too convenient connections between all the characters, the beginning on On_Line is the most interesting. Weintraub and co-writer Andrew Osborne (Apocalypse Bob, Behind Enemy Lines) explore how complete strangers are willing to reveal intimite details about their lives, whether it be through webcams, on-line video diaries, or through chat rooms. Weintraub explores the motivations of people who go on line in search of companionship or friendship. He splits the screens into three or four pictures like windows on a monitor.

The movie then devolves into cheap pornography, for no other reason that to titillate the viewer. Ferlito looks great, like a cross between Angelina Jolie and Shannyn Sossamon, and she has plenty of chances to masturbate or look enticing on camera. It looks nice, but there needs to be something more in a movie than this. As previously mentioned, On_Line begins promisingly. Things go awry when Weintraub attempts to pull everything together. Instead of exploring people like Jordan and Al, who do not necessarily like what they do but do it anyway (they appear bored otherwise), he relies on nudity and confessional monologues. Worst is a glaring mistake, only obvious at the end. The story makes clear that Moe has known John for a while, they went to college together and started Intercon-X. Yet, Moe seems to have no clue who John's fiancee was. This makes for spoiling an ending that was meant to shed some light on John's character, but instead baffles anybody watching.

Mongoose Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 26 minutes, Not Rated but contains nudity, sexuality, and language, an R.

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