Hell yes! Thinks Knight Moves, a film probably mapped out after someone came up with the mildly clever title…
Christopher Lambert is Sanderson, a world renowned chess player playboy. He loves the game, but also loves the things that come with the game. Apparently this means hot women throw themselves at him frequently. Real chess players the world over are probably muttering “bullshit” to themselves.
Sanderson loves only two things, himself and his daughter. He doesn’t seem to love the game as much as use it. But when a beautiful staffer that he only recently banged ends up brutally murdered Sanderson is immediately implicated when a cryptic message puts him in check. (First and last chess related pun I promise)
Cops Frank (Tom Skerritt) and his partner (Daniel Baldwin) are called in, as is attractive psychiatrist Kathy (Diane Lane) for her expert analysis – and to let Christopher Lambert breathe heavy on the poor young woman.
The killer leaves more bodies and cryptic clues that include chess analogies. He always seems a step ahead. Even with the cops to assist it seems it is up to Sanderson and his knowledge of tactics that must manoeuvre the man responsible into position for a finishing move…
… It really doesn’t help this film that the pre-credits preamble pretty much gives away the ending.
Knight Moves is uninspired and formulaic, ticking off the 90s thriller boxes of having multiple suspects, continuing to make lead characters make dumb decisions and overlook weird happenings, and having the lead guy pause to bang the female co-star – in slo-mo no less.
But there are worse ways to spend a couple hours, for example watching almost any of Christopher Lambert’s other movies. This mediocrity is a noticeable step up from most of those.
Final Rating – 6.5 / 10. Possibly the inspiration for the live action Battleship movie. We’ll never know.